Most of us had arrived
on some late wave
of westward expansion:
German and mongrel pup,
coming by way of Oklahoma
or Arkansas, in Mormon dust,
through Humbolt dreams,
Idaho mines and Wyoming sheep,
praying for rain on some dryland farm
where you were lucky to get a chokecherry crop.
But here we were, offspring holding our own
against each other and these nomadic feet.
Except for Louie. It’s like he arrived last year.
Italian. His papa ran a corner grocery
where salami swung on the garlic air
and cheeses sat like fat Buddhas
on the crowded counter.
At home his mama kept a pot of spaghetti sauce
on the back of the stove.
When Louie and I came home from hunting
or fishing or rummaging the wild hills
we’d drop a squirrel or rabbit or salmon cheeks
into the red mire. On a starving Thursday
I would sit down to their noodles,
listen to their chatter and taste
a wonder I never got at home.
Gary Lark’s most recent works include: River of Solace, Editor’s Choice Chapbook Award from Turtle Island Quarterly (Flowstone Press, 2016), and In the House of Memory, (BatCat Press, 2016). Ordinary Gravity, is forthcoming from Airlie Press, 2019.