Pamela Johnson Parker — “CROSS-STITCH SAMPLERS FROM CHILDHOOD”

There’s maybe no milk, maybe no Bunny
Bread, but always Kools and Coca-Colas
There in the old pie safe. If you gonna stay
a good arm’s length from switching, then your soles
go bare and save those Sunday shoes. Yes ma’am,
even if there’s snow. Bus driver’s no need
to know we’re not in that brick house– trail goes
just a mile more over mud. Past that there
cliff’s a spring where you’ll find fiddleheads curled green.
Better your belly’s screaming like a guinea
than shamed in the free lunch line. Just who’ll see
there’s naught but grease between your heels of bread?
If the trailer sways in wind, list this way, then that.
The best part of slab bacon’s all the fat.


Pamela Johnson Parker works as an administrative assistant in Art & Design at Murray State University. She is the author of two chapbooks: A Walk Through the Memory Palace (Qarrtsiluni Prize) and Other-Four Letter Words. Parker’s first full-length collection, Cleave, won the Trio Award and was published by Trio House Press in March 2018.