Appalachian Fracking Prayer

A quiet to these fields we called our place,
could almost hear the springs refeeding ponds,
fracked and gone with the deer and fox and grouse
thanks to the drilling’s thunder in the ground.

Now faucets leak a punky methane smell
and fears of water bursting into fire,
looks like they used the plumber straight from hell
and he won’t be the last non-union hire.

Investors gave the church a white organ
which got the priest to sing about a laughing god.
New workers’ wives fill in his pews, their men
fill sports bars, drink to drilling our graveyards.

The lawyers rock on playground wings,
while the politicians pile down the slides
like greased pigs with chicken wings,
the Chamber of Commerce gave away the rides

Old farmers can’t recall so many lambs
grown blind, calves that don’t know how to nurse.
The power people say they have a plan
to study all the costs to warm our house.

I hope, no, pray, the price isn’t inside
my pregnant daughter, whose waters were due to break
two weeks ago, and that our first grandchild
is born and looks like us and can relate.

lawyers rock on playground swings,
while the politicians pile down the slides
like greased pigs with chicken wings,
the Chamber of Commerce gave away the rides


Return to Frost’s Farm

I bought a red barn farm just past Starbucks,
one with stonewalls and maple trees with No
Trespassing signs because good signs make for
good strangers, not the kind who scavenge cash
to feed their habits, guys who do not ask
whose woods these are before they hit your door.
So come, it’s far from where the mine erodes
and run-off brooks, regardless of their song
and speed, have signs depicting skeletons
of fish x-ed out in black with words in red:
high levels of Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic, Lead.
Where springs have dried to yellow grassy sores,
I’ve watered garden beds with heirloom seeds
whose genes Monsanto hasn’t split and twisted.
And in the barn I raised a milking cow
without the help of artificial hormones.
We love the things we love for what they are,
the poet sang, for all the tough-guy talk
of seeking different roads. Were he here now?
And in the driveway, there’s a 4X4
equipped with plow, in hopes, the snow returns
like a ghost of winter in the global warming.
So come, at night, we’ll look to the city’s growing
light-dirty sky and hope for something like
a darkness that holds something like a star.


What You Gave Me to Say

Gave the black leather and brass buckle
punching the touch of the same braille
on the pink of my stomach, apologize,
when the strap ran out of pages on my back.
Gave the scuffed clefts of Neoprene heels
slapping steps to nowhere on my head.
What child wouldn’t be the road for his mother’s
load? Gave lessons with the yard stick’s
arithmetic, how many inches times how many hits
before either it or my muteness — snapped.
How dumb was I? Gave flashes of a gold
ring on a backhand that chipped my smile.
I gave the dentist’s suspicions one of your lies,
smooth as a buffed tooth. What kind of child
would refuse to use his face to save his mother’s?
Cornered, a laundry iron neared my cheeks,
so I felt the secreted heat, you gave me a fear
of closed-in spaces. And then the boy, you split
inside my skin and didn’t know it, who promised
someday I’d tell the real story— you gave me him.

Photo by jillccarlson

Glenn Morazzini
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