Athena Kildegaard — “There Is No Escape”

Figs grew on the side
of the house too close
to our neighbor, who wore
white linen and drove
a Lincoln Continental,
sleek and white. His wife
brought us red Jell-o
in a blue Cool Whip tub.
She smelled of bacon
a filterless Camels
and mentioned the coloreds
who lived two blocks down.
I sliced the figs thin
and served them with cream,
just as my grandmother did.

Athena Kildegaard is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Course, from Tinderbox Editions. Her poems have recently appeared in Ecotone, Poetry Northwest, About Place Journal, Water~Stone, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Minnesota, Morris.