Great Greats

family hatbox rolls beneath her hands
asking, do cedar balls burn
daguerreotype was shocked, melted
every one so recent, the southern way
to tinder buildings and her carriage
seemed to be of two minds
homestead barn’s drip of rainwater on the pig’s
folded ear twitch tin basin sloshed
heavy water and shoulders slant
and shoulders bent toward the father
the comfort fire only imagined

mother’s family’s livestock
was brick, thought them in a century
after, sun streamers through carriage windows
hatpins long and ear splitting, while broad-shouldered
uncles look on hungrily, the type that lumber
through a door but whisper in libraries

your hat red with ribbons a feather, look at
teacup move it to the patch of firelight
something that belonged to me, but as one gets older
Jeffrey Kingman

Jeffrey Kingman lives by the Napa River in Vallejo, California. His poetry chapbook, ON A ROAD, was published by Finishing Line Press in December of 2019. He is the he winner of the Red Berry Editions 2015 Broadside Contest, the winner of the 2018 Eyelands Book Award for an unpublished poetry book, a finalist in the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk Prize poetry book competition, and he received honorable mention in the 2017 Quercus Review Press Fall Poetry Book Award. He has been published in PANK, Crack the Spine, Squaw Valley Review, and others. Jeff has a Master’s degree in Music Composition and has been playing drums in rock bands most of his life. Visit his website at www.jeffkingman.com