North Carolina Literary Review

Page 100

100

2016

NORTH CAROLINA L I T E R A R Y RE V I E W

FINALIST, 2015 JAMES APPLEWHITE POETRY PRIZE BY J.S. ABSHER

Biscuits

1963 Mr. Lonny Garr leans, spits on the sidewalk. He’s on 10th Street, North Wilkesboro, six months before our dashing President is killed and the world is changed and the TV shows Jack Ruby shoot Oswald whose mouth opens in an O large enough to swallow the country whole. Lonny steps over the sidewalk crack and slumps off without speaking. He goes to the house he put up with Mama’s money, its unfinished drywall still dimpled by hammer blows. His mama always lies in bed, blinds pulled, her skin pale as the white tubes buzzing and flickering in the kitchen. Sometimes she speaks to Lonny’s wife, in a baby voice asking for the fluffy middle of biscuits. When Lonny’s wife, bent down to hear, sees Mama’s tongue working in her toothless mouth, she thinks of the winter her newborn slipped away, dimly fluorescing

J.S. ABSHER has been a records manager, consultant, freelance editor, offset printer, missionary, bank teller, janitor, and teacher. He co-hosts the monthly Second Thursday reading series at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. His poetry has been published in two collections, Night Weather (Cynosura Press, 2010) and The Burial of Anyce Shepherd (Main Street Rag, 2006), and has won various prizes, most recently from Kakalak and Big River Poetry Review. His newest book, a revised electronic edition of Night Weather, with music and new poems and illustrations, will be released in 2015. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife, Patti.


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