My Mother’s Neck

By Sarah Jones

Trailer parks as a winding tire swing,
              as Zigzags and a one-dollar wine cooler.
                             Trailer parks as an ice cube in sweet tea.

Trailer parks as a drunk dad on a dirt bike,
              and that chunk of flesh gone from his head.
                             Trailer parks as a shatter, as a fist, as a scream.

Black–Camaro trailer parks.
              Black Sabbath, black leash.
                             Ticks-on-the-dog trailer parks.

Fingers-in-a-pussy trailer parks.
              Good-Lord-Grant-us-Grace trailer parks.
                             Trailer parks as Dad who called me shithead.

Naked-Barbie trailer parks,
              Moon-Pies and Welch’s Grape Soda.
                             I’m sorry, I’m sorry trailer parks.

Fish-smoker trailer parks.
              Pot-in-a-closet trailer parks.
                             An aluminum shed full of porn.

Trailer parks as loose underwear,
              lawn mattresses, CoverGirl.
                             Trailer parks as half a box of tree ornaments,

as a repossessed Ford Taurus (cream),
              as a shatter, a fist, a scream.
                             Trailer parks as cans of peas.

Piss-in-a-5-gallon-bucket trailer parks,
              cinderblocks and plywood.
                             Trailer parks as three shredded tires.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry trailer parks.
              Wild poppies growing alongside weeds,
                             and that police photo of Mom’s choked neck.

Unpaid-propane-bill, cold-water trailer parks.
              Trailer parks as a grip, a gasp, a little hand on a loaded gun.

                             A-phone-call-from-jail trailer parks.

Sarah Jones is a poet and freelance writer living in Seattle. She is a staff member for Poetry Northwest and was an editorial intern with C&R Press, and she has also been an assistant poetry editor of Lunch Ticket and Soundings Review. Her poetry has been featured on NPR and The Bridge, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Entropy, The Normal School, Raven Chronicles, City Arts Magazine, and many other places.

Originally published in NOR 22.

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