? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 2

Elizabeth R. Curry Contest Winners

Ellaraine Locke


Godot goes to Montana

My farmer father waited to see
if crops would hail out or dry up
If coyotes would tunnel the chicken coops
If the price of grain could keep
me out of used clothes
If the bank would waive foreclosure
for another year

After hay baling and breech delivering
from sunrise to body’s fall
He slept in front of the evening news
Too worn out to watch the world squirm
Too weary to hear warnings from ghost brothers
who were slain by beef, bacon and stress
Too spent to move into the next day

when he couldn’t afford to forget
how Brew Wilcox lost his left arm to an auger
How the mayor’s son suffocated in a silo
Too responsible to remember the bleak option
my grandfather chose for the rope
hanging over the barn rafters

Never too lonely because every farmer
had a neighbor to bullshit with
To share an early a. m. pot of Folger’s
To eat fresh sourdough doughnuts
To chew the fat of their existence