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Edison Jennings: Homebound

One rabbit, two dogs, a cat, several fish—

tropical and gold—assorted road kill—

domestic and wild—and the ashes

of one child— her only, a girl— buried

in the yard, the girl’s ashes in the crotch

of a maple, bind her to the house

and three acres her husband bought

the day before they were married,

assured that only death could do them part,

but it wasn’t death that did them part

(that came later), but the lifeguard 

at the public pool who parted them

quite easily when the tanned and blond

young man awakened a self her husband

didn’t know he had, compelling him

to quit his job, no reason given,

and head for LA with his lifeguard lover,

leaving his pregnant wife with a note,

their savings, and all their property,

which five years later passed to her

uncontested as his heir apparent

when he was killed with his lover

in a fiery I-10 pileup on the way

to ask forgiveness and for the first time

see their child, Elissa, who would die

three years later of Amebic Meningitis,

contracted probably in the pool

her father’s partner cleaned and guarded

without fail until they left for California,

each of whom—daughter, father,

father’s lover—she sketched in ink

and framed in birdseye maple

then hung side by side near a window 

where she often sits come evening,

sometimes nodding off to sleep.


Copyright 2022 Edison Jennings

Edison Jennings lives in the southwestern Appalachian region of Virginia. In 2017, he was awarded the Virginia Quarterly Review Conference Award in Poetry.

3 comments on “Edison Jennings: Homebound

  1. Debra J Kaufman
    May 5, 2022

    Such a dark tale! So Appalachian, with many twists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim4true
    May 5, 2022

    What a portrait. So many layers.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on May 5, 2022 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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