Such pellagra of psyche
her bequest to me. Visions visited her,
and voices too.
Mom heard. Saved scores
of people from death, dismemberment,
accidents in her head
and laying it all at the feet of the good Lord.
Crazy was our norm.
Of course, various
people tried to kill her too—jammed
potions, poisons, wicked spells, gardenia
smells. A regular
of human greed, betrayal, voodoo, vice.
Being her child
a complex pain—
her moods a multi-dimensional, but
Look out. Always on the look-
out for her
moods. In 1942,
she spotted for the Aircraft Warning
Sometimes, I, lone and loft too,
tense, alert in a pitch-black, clod-struck
pencil, log, and federal-issue silhouette
She is meticulous, keen, clear-headed,
for the inexorable enemy to come.
They also serve
who only stand
in the middle of nothing but plenteous dirt
Randy Smith founded and directs the BFA program in creative writing at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Program alum, Angie Thomas (2011), was nominated for the 2017 National Book Award for her debut novel, The Hate U Give, a project she started as her senior creative thesis at Belhaven. Randy has published poetry previously in Ruminate, Rock & Sling, and The Best of Sandhills. Six of his poems are included in the anthology Open Hands: The Tupelo Press 30/30 Project: February 2016 (Tupelo Press, 2017).