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POETRY
Second
Cass Francis

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The man keeps his mind
swirling like stirred
kool-aid from one project
to another, building
tables & rocking

chairs from wood scraps
he finds behind the parking
lot of an old Minyards
he only remembers
faintly. When he was born

his mother thought
he would be as tall
& violent as his father,
but instead his hazel
eyes softened into the muddy

brown of a warm
house inside a cold
window. When his mother
said no one becomes
farmers anymore, (the earth

has shrunk, the dirt
packed like stone), he married
a woman & planted
his love inside her, & now
he watches it grow. He has

a daughter whose name
is so sacred that he calls
herhoney.& in her gilded
innocence, she asks
what does Mississippi

mean, reading it aloud
from her picture
book. He does not say
the brown tongue that snakes
through the heartland.

He says it is the name
of the second
that slows
time.


Cass Francis is from Waxahachie, Texas and attends the Arkansas Writers MFA Program. Her fiction and poetry appear in From Sac, L’Éphémère Review, Cabinet of Heed, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter @WriterCFrancis.