Jill, July [poem] by Catherine Harnett

How should I feel riding in the front
seat of Bo’s red truck, right next to him,
Johnny Cash on the radio, watching
how he puts his left arm out the window,
redder and more freckled than the right one.
I am only twelve, but I notice things like that,
look at him when he doesn’t know I look.
He leaned in to cut my steak one night so
close to me I could feel the hair on his
sunburned arm, the POW bracelet
with his best friend’s name, the man he
never talks about. How should I feel when
he looks over and smiles, not like he smiles
at my mother, but it will do for now, it will
have to.

 

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem refers to the image accompanying Rebecca McClanahan’s essay “Gingko Song.”]

Catherine Harnett’s two books of poems, Still Life and Evidence were published by the Washington Writers Publishing House. Her work has appeared in Hudson Review, Assisi, upstreet, Gargoyle, Alimentum, The Roanoke Review, Danse Macabre, Six Sentences, Innisfree and others. Currently, she lives with her daughter, who is in high school and is a fabulous photographer.

Image by Memphis CBV