Saturday, February 14, 2009

Featured Writer: Julie Buffaloe-Yoder Day 2

Shaqueena, Big and Tall

Shaqueena had the biggest tits

I’ve ever seen, I mean each

of those puppies was the size

of a Rottweiler’s head.

Even us straight girls

couldn’t help but stare

at them in gym class.

Soapy globes in the shower,

suntanned worlds unknown,

Shaqueena had the power

of a woman in eighth grade.

Those glamorous glands

didn’t slow Shaqueena down.

She didn’t try to stop them

with eighteen-hour harnesses

or hide them behind books.

She put them out there, honey,

for all the small girls to see.

Goddess of the braless,

large dark nipples peeking

through thin white lace.

Bouncing on the playground,

they’d hit us in the face.

We memorized her mammaries,

worshipped her jiggling temples,

wrote poems about them,

gave both of them names.

We were jealous as hell.

Shaqueena, Queen of Meat.

Sturdy, curvy, proud, loud.

When God was passing out

boobs in the lunch room,

Shaqueena took all the trays

and ran away, laughing.
Washing Away

That old shell of a building used to be

where Jeeter Davis picked the blues,

while us girls picked the sweet meat

of blue crabs to sell for market price.

We worked with red bandanas

on our heads, and boys on our minds.

Our squeaking rubber gloves

on warm, wet wood kept time.

The mockingbirds sounded

like little boats chewing foam.

The shush of shovels in crushed ice

meant supper would be on the table

for at least another season.

Our fathers were worn out

after a good night’s catch,

their boats heavy with a living.

But they kept us full

of their stories, oh Lord, that day

Jeeter Davis sang the one about

the cheating wife and the clam bed,

we thought we would die laughing.

Now there’s a big, black boot,

some old net that needs mending,

and an upside down crab pot

floating in the tide.

There’s a rotten crate

with SHRIMP stenciled

on its side, the letters R, M, P

almost faded away.

There’s a mossy brown stump

where the oyster bed was,

the handle of a shovel,

and two rusty pennies, heads up,

lying in the mud.

There’s our old crab house

creaking in the breeze, and inside,

the briny smell still echoes

like Jeeter Davis’ cold, steel blues

sliding off the walls.

There’s glass that snaps underfoot,

three rubber gloves, a pink hair brush,

a radio that might still work,

and a guitar pick crusted with scales

stuck in a crack in the ice room door.

There’s half a receipt book,

and compliments

of Bell-Munden Funeral Home,

there’s an unmarked calendar

still opened to the year

when we lost our soul.

Across the bay,

there’s a healthy row

of condominiums growing.

They call it Fisherman’s Ridge.

There’s a billboard that has

a happy family on it.

They’re not from around here.

There’s a cartoon picture

of a boat and a shrimper

hauling in his heavy nets.

He’s bathed in light and way

too clean to be working.

They tell us maybe

we can get big tips over there

if we entertain the tourists

with our watermen’s accents

or serve imported crabs

in the restaurant

or mop their pretty floors.

So shiny, so bright,

like the Whore of Babylon

like a brand new bay.

God help us.

We’re all washing

We’re all washing away.