Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal


Thomas Reynolds

In my grandmother’s mind,
The streets were not crooked.

The house where she lived as a child
Stood as resolute as Sander’s Hill.

Sidewalks never cracked,
And mother’s backs were never broken.

The milk truck still pulled up out front,
And bottles waited patiently on steps.

Doors never burst open with anger,
Slamming repeatedly in the August air.

Mothers never cried at midnight,
And fathers, even if so inclined,

Never lost their paychecks in card games,
Wandering the crooked streets until dawn.

Lights were out across town by eleven,
Except for maybe in some upstairs window,

Where one small girl read by candlelight,
And occasionally looked out at the full moon,

Thanking God for the life she was given,
That somehow it would go on forever,

Here with the steep hills as backdrop
And every bad memory erased.


Thomas Reynolds teaches at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, Midwest Poetry Review, Potpourri, Ariga, Strange Horizons, Combat, American Western Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine, Ash Canyon Review, and Orphan Leaf Review. Reynolds' two poems, "Wanda's Fried Chicken and "78s," are included in the book Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology.

© Thomas Reynolds

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012