One Cold Day | J.J. Cannon | First published by What the Dickens! Magazine November 29, 2011 – A raw and very personal poem about the relationship between my mother and grandfather.
Like a latex glove
filled to capacity,
its accusatory fingers bulging,
pointing, wonkily in all directions,
the index eventually bursts with a force,
spewing its proverbial venom forth,
the direction suddenly clear.
‘You cocksucker!’ she shrieks,
a spray of angry spittle lands on the old man,
now in the winter of his life…
Sitting, a cold block of stone bench beneath,
a jury of trees surrounds
two narcissistic images staring,
oblivious to the fact.
Raw wind suddenly swirling up around the pair,
pigeons take cover,
no crumbs here.
A smug smile creeps
at the corners of a mouth
already lashed out
at the scared little girl who is no more.
Smoky cigar swirls,
this sickness between them has grown
over a lifetime rooted in dysfunction,
into a magnificent redwood,
they, the two branches on either side
unwilling to bend.
Permission to love unconditionally
never granted, never given, now
one cavernous emotional debt.
Profanity is the salt of their dialog now
sprinkled often, generously
over one another’s wounds
which can never be healed.
– J.J. Cannon