an elegy for aunt phyllis
she speaks as soft as the wind breathing
between the leaves of her zucchini vines,
and as sweet as the honey she spreads
on the biscuits she baked from scratch.
like the wind, i don’t always understand her
when she tells me where the patch
of wildflowers the hummingbirds
are gathering around this year.
patiently, she shows me how to walk the woods
alone without a path. if i’m ever lost,
how to follow the creeks upstream
until i find home again.
I was never a horse girl,
living on a big ranch
supported by old family money girl.
A well-kept daughter with silky long hair
and custom tailored riding breeches. Girl,
I picked off howling coyote gangs
with a single barrel shotgun.
Sliced off rattlesnakes' heads
with a rusty-bladed shovel,
fended off wandering redneck drunks
with the end of my father's .357 revolver.
I followed vultures to fresh death
and pulled out breached calves
from their own rotten placenta.
I was that kind of girl.
Earthboundless - McKenzie Drake, 2018. Acrylic on canvas. 72” x 72”. Photo courtesy of Mark Geil.
Soon Jones is a Korean lesbian poet and failed missionary from the rural countryside of the American South. Soon's work has previously appeared in beestung, Westerly, and Moon City Review, among others, and can be found at soonjones.com.