“Relativity: A Lithograph by M.C. Escher,” “Chores” and “Another Kind Man”

Poetry by Virginia Watts

“Relativity: A Lithograph by M.C. Escher,” “Chores” and “Another Kind Man”

Chores

Black two-piece suit

piped gold or silver

Cucumber slice eyes

Pink lips, pink toenails

Can of Fresca, ashtray

in shade under a recliner

I can still see Mrs. W

tanning in yard grass

Neighborhood men lapped her up

Mowing lawn rows

Yanking leaves from gutters

Resealing driveways shiny

Even my own dad couldn’t resist

the occasional glance, an ogle

as he scrubbed our birdbath

frequently and thoroughly

Mrs. W wasn’t like my mom

She wasn’t like any mom

Chain smoker for one thing

Drove her Country Squire fast

Wore miniskirts, skin tight jeans

Knotted summer tops below her bra

exposing flat stomach, bellybutton

But she did have kids – four of them

One day, I am washing my bike

Mrs. W is hosing her Squire

Bending over in white hot pants,

a bright red bullseye on her butt

A heart bite of warm, fresh blood

I look both ways, sprint across the street

You’re bleeding!

Mrs. W whips around to face me

A girl of seven gripping a soapy sponge

Better get used it

You’re cursed too

Another Kind of Man

Mr. Memmi kneading dough

inside The Hershey Bakery

Mr. Memmi the first and only man

who got down on one knee for me

to hand me a hot, powdery roll

the size of my palm I placed

against my cold cheek in winter

Pronio’s Grocery Store

selling everything under the sun

from sausage to Snowy Bleach

Mr. Pronio’s with his utility knife

freeing plastic toys attached to products

She can have the giveaway prize

He would tell my mother

No need to buy anything, Mrs. Watts

Mr. Tulli fitting shoes, humming Sinatra tunes

Never asking annoying questions about school

Mr. Cagnoli’s flute lessons

accompanied by two Dalmatians

One head for his lap and one for mine

I’d pause and squeak, forget flats, sharps

On my way out, a candy bowl

Try to remember to practice this week if you can

Maybe the whole town was inside a bubble

A Five & Dime plastic snow globe

I know the flakes don’t fall by themselves

I know you have to shake up the world

to make a small miracle happen but look

Milton Hershey built a whole town

and a boarding school still birthing

one bright future after another

just by selling candy in this world

I don’t believe in the northern star

not any god, no blind hope of any kind

but I do believe in something

I was there and I saw it myself

About the Author

Virginia Watts

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Virginia Watts is the author of poetry and stories found in Illuminations, The Florida Review, CRAFT, Sunspot Literary Journal, Sky Island Journal,Permafrost Magazine, Bacopa Literary Review, Streetlight Magazine among others. Winner of the 2019 Florida Review Meek Award in nonfiction and nominee for Best of the Net Nonfiction 2019 and 2020, her poetry chapbooks, "The Werewolves of Elk Creek" and "Shot Full of Holes," are upcoming for publication by The Moonstone Press. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times.