Light, sentimental strums ride waves
And tumble forth, brushing
Up against my ears,
Your fingers pull away
On those tight strings,
Like a belly dancers body, they arch,
The strings; their stage…
I want to dance too.
A hard pluck, followed with
The moan of poorly tuned strings
Slams against your melody
I stare up, confused, frustrated,
Ashamed that I cannot
Your thin fingers continue their routine,
Not at all put off by my intruding
Lack of talent.
I wait patiently
For your next wave to come,
So that I may once again try to catch
It and ride along with you
Another failed attempt, another splash of sharp,
painful seawater to my face.
You’re riding off again,
Leaving us in isolation.
It can only last if I match your
Perfect melody with one of my own
Where it’s warm, fulfilling,
Where the people are always laughing.
I hear your apology,
Mingled in with your melody
Your desire to come back home
And teach me more, overruled
By your troubles
I know I’m not at all good,
And my music reeks of desperation
But stay afloat with us
You are pruned and ready for the shore,
As am I.
And one last strum whispers goodbye,
Seeming to smile sadly against my skin.
Down, down, down you go.
Swallowed by the dangers of the sea,
Drowning in your addiction
I stay ashore,
And continue to pluck,
Forever waiting for your tide to come.
My grandma never did run
Away from anything.
Satan himself could light
Our house like a fireplace
And she’d be hurdling down
Those shaky porch steps, swatting
At him with a spatula.
She handled that cooking stick
Like she was one of the
Three musketeers. And
I bet you my hat and best Sunday
Clothes that the Devil would be a running
With his pointed tail between his legs.
She don’t look like much.
An earthen, weathered
Face, as if someone had molded
Her together in pottery class.
A pea-green frock, lying beneath
her brown tucker, that always held
A cooking stick, a worn out,
maroon hanky and an old
pack of playing cards.
Ever since I can remember,
She been baking that same old
Cornbread. Moist, delicious, dripping
Honey along the curves of your
Sore, bleeding fingertips after
A long day out in the orchards.
And sometimes, after the sun grown weary
Of this world,
I watch her pull off that old brown tucker,
Along with her duties to this ancient, busted up,
Her face don’t betray her emptiness,
Or stressed out soul.
But the faded, black lining of an old
Bruise named Tiger Lily
A shaded tiger, peaking out
From her old dress, reminding
Us all that nobody’s perfect and
Everybody makes mistakes.
And I’m sure that the pride
So meanly raped away from her,
Reminds her of the same thing.
Late nights, grubby old hands,
Feeling of hot, desperate breath
and the taste of cigarette smoke
Forever branded in her
Joni Cox is a sixteen-year-old entering her sophomore year at CGCC. Her favorite things in life consist of cats, celebrity gossip and the click of a keyboard as she forms stories out of incoherent thoughts. Writing is her constant companion and will always, without fail pull her out of any bad space she finds herself in.