Bellingham*

May 23, 2011

Rachel Mehl reading her winning poem, Bellingham

2011 Walk Award
By Rachel Mehl

Bellingham

Today I’ll wake up late,
drink too much coffee,
eat leftover shepherd’s pie
with mustard and soy sauce.
I’ll monitor the sump pump
and keep an eye on the chickens
while the rain drowns
bugs and muddies our lawn
seeping through the basement floor,
ankle deep. Adding to the black
mud of last month’s snow melt.
At the top of the hill my ancestors
are buried across from the wrought iron
fence of the Jewish cemetery.
It’s been long enough their bones
have jelled and thickened the lake
my father swam in as a boy,
where we still get our drinking water.
After their wedding my parents
raced up that hill. My father eddied
around headstones past the grey-faced
angel and the woman with two broken arms
who still leans forward like a zombie,
The man I live with shoots zombies on the TV.
If I drink enough wine my liver will turn grey.

*Copyright 2011 by Rachel Mehl. Photo by Karee Wardrop.

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