of your log cottage at the edge of the long-needled pines
that drape the roof, turning the shingles green,
the trees themselves tinted blue in the light
of the Ed Sullivan Show.
You, watching the mahogany console,
put down your long-necked Schlitz,
rise from your patchouli-warmed, cigarette-cozied spot
under the dark cracked beams, and take me
up the narrow stairs to a bed nook where you
have sprinkled violet toilet water on pillow feathers
so I might sleep to the sound of semitrailers
straining gears on the hillroad. I’m asking you,
Josephine of hollyhocks and marigolds,
set down the fishing pole and give me
the strong brown hand that in the morning
trembled nervous to braid a young girl’s hair.
Come, Josephine, stretch yourself on the davenport
exhausted, and read me chapters in Old Yeller
while the spaniel named for Tom Sawyer
naps on the braided oval rug. Come here,
dress me as a bride in your window curtains
and pose me in the chestnut-secreting sedge
where I, solemn, grip my marigold bouquet
as you kneel behind your Brownie camera.
And quick now climb down the tractor
to clomp your boots through rufous fields,
your wooded creeks and cowlicks,
before they are transformed
into rows of small, identical, white houses –
almost at the very second your lids
last lower over those blind
green Josephine eyes.
Lillo Way's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New Orleans Review, Poet Lore, Tampa Review, Tar River Poetry, Madison Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Poetry East, Yemassee, Santa Fe Literary Review, among others. Seven of Way's poems are included in anthologies. Her full-length manuscript, “Wingbone,” was a finalist for the 2015 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press.