The Christ child has come announcing
the saddest news: Your Memaw has attained
a new poverty. She will only warrant you one peek,
a glimpse into the vacant yard of December.
A photo album half empty, save for a few pictures
of Papaw’s old goats and hope of resurrection.
The last summer he was alive,
you hauled leftover watermelon through the gate
to a rusted tub surrounded in dirt, a gift
for his hooved choir of aimless joy. Lazy
and full of fruit, you skimped across crabgrass
fantasizing about fireworks and what you’d kill
with a pellet gun if you had a clean shot.
In the sickly amber of this living room,
doesn’t everything seem different?
Little by little, the pink sweetness of beauty thins.
Gospel singers sing and no one listens.
You carried your Papaw like chewed up rinds
to a hole in the ground while it rained.
Maybe God’s up in the sky with a big old shiny rifle,
picking off what you love right and left.