Time to Go
You've had it with Atlanta,
what's left of the place.
You remember shady two-lane roads,
those tracks by the blackberry patch
where kids waved as the Peach Queen clanked by.
Now look at it:
Jacked-up taxes to pay off Olympics.
Asian gangs roaming Ansley Park.
Harried commuters tailgating at 80.
You pull out a pad,
jot down a list --
reasons to stay on one side,
reasons to leave on the other.
But the columns come out even.
One day the scale tilts
at a stop light. The pervert pulls up beside you,
hangs out his window clutching two dolls.
It's Barbie and Ken, naked.
See how he dances them,
makes them kiss, then do 69!
Your boys howl in the back seat --
deep guttural laughs like men.
You drive north to a mountain town,
lease a little red-brick ranch.
but there's a blackberry patch out back.
ball player, caught
in the jaws
of a batting slump
A mother's words
offered as poultice,
with spittle and malice
From the bleachers
a held breath
rising in tandem
with bone-white orb.
©2004 by Susan Snowden
Susan Snowden has published stories, poems, and interviews in a variety
of journals, including New Orleans Review, Now and Then, Waterways, and
Long Story Short, and in three anthologies. She has received awards for
her work from Writer’s Digest, Appalachian Writers’ Association, NC
Writers’ Network, and others. Snowden is a freelance book editor based
in western North Carolina; she also teaches creative writing at Blue Ridge Community