Two Poems by Robert Lee Kendrick
Uprooted by wind, a forty-year oak
lies across blacktop, April leaves
pastel green. Detours marked, no houses blocked
on this half-mile road. For three days, The county
has let this one lie as we wait for more
storms, without lights or no heat, only
backup chimes, diesel groans from earth
movers. Pasture to Long View Estates — three
houses left, the land changing hands underneath.
Troy Moore on his porch by the stop sign.
No hair to cut, beards to trim, not for a month.
Close contact, non-essential. One cigarette
after another. Past his house, a tattooed man
picks cans from the ditch. Scrap metal still pays.
Four county sheriff cars box a double-wide.
Still plenty of cash in small plastic bags.
A hundred yards down, the two Hayes girls
bounce on trampoline, their virtual day
done. Six Mile Elementary shut. Doll’s Eye
blooms by the creek, white coronas
spreading in shade. Poison to all but birds.
No getting over, around, this trunk,
these branches, the downed lines behind. Nothing
to do but turn, follow my slim shadow home.