— for Nate Pritts
Then you’d be sorry
like when Steve stuck a snake in the fish tank.
could throw ice buckets over shower rods a mile away.
no matter how sweet it dressed.
Would daisy your ass
like a cheerleader
my mother’s voice could rise up taller than any backyard
behind someone’s back. It gave
side-effects like burning eyes.
When my brother and I launched bottle rockets
out our bedroom window
on their lawn, my mother’s voice
was so rocket up the stairs
you a thousand times in the graveyard
smashing bottles or playing
a Charlie horse, who ripped
who’s boxers with a sky-high wedgie. It could see
the five from her purse. It uncurled my brother’s hair
and I swear I saw it
I played chicken with her Buick on Breakneck
Road, but when she had to come to the station
to some backseat-driver’s lecture
from an idiot cop about how to parent
the scariest part was the ride home, an hour’s
drive through a moonless dark, when she didn’t say a word.