IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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UNDERTAKER'S GRANDDAUGHTER

Jane Birdsall Lander

We're at Einer's Pond till midnight catching frogs for bait and watching mayflies hatch. Heading home I fall asleep wrapped with my star quilt in the back of the hearse. Next thing Gramp's out of the car shouting. The rear door flings open, someone unrolling me without asking, without saying a word. Staring through the dark I press flat as a shadow against the window while my edges blur and cool like the sun's rim during winter dusks. Men's voices rumble like stones turning underground; I can't make out Gramp's voice from the others. In the glare of headlights Two men with bloody hands keep mumbling. All I can hear is sorry but their eyes flicker like lit matches as they spit and pass a bottle. I hear a shovel scrape the pavement, someone shooing a hound away. They lift the stretcher in beside me; a deadman wrapped in my quilt, a bucket of scared bull-frogs singing jug-o-rum jug-o-rum, the long ride home.

 
 
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