this is a poem about my mother
that is what this is about
my wonderful mother and how I did not
go see her for years because I was too busy
looking for her in places like san francisco
and houston
she wasn’t there          SHE remained
roots-deep in indiana
(why didn’t she ever go anywhere)
and allowed me (lead me)
            to spend the years I had saved for years
                        going places where she was not
as she waited and waited for her son
to come see her

she waited in the heat of summer         
she waited in the cold of winter

                        why doesn’t he come see me
            that silly boy must think I’m in upstate
oregon
            maybe if I send out a strong THUMP
he will remember where I am
                        he was always so forgetful
                                    as a child

one day quite by accident I woke up              
in
indiana and my father had a new car

can I go for a ride                               sure

I got in the car and drove to the top of a small
but not too small hill

            I drove around to where I thought she lived
isn’t this strange         I thought to myself
I could have sworn
she lived right over there   or was it there
                        or there
it’s so hard to remember but I could have sworn it was
                        right over there
            I drove around the hill several more times
and then the funniest thing happened
                        I was amazed
            I was stranged

                                                out of the
side window I saw a rock with my mother’s
name on it
                        you can imagine my surprise
a rock with my mother’s name on it
                        I couldn’t tell if it was a nice rock or not
it was too confusing to know if it was a nice rock or not

I got out of the car and walked over to the rock

I lay down in front of the rock
I felt stupid and got up

                                    before me was a life-size statue
of jesus christ our savior and I tried to make him move

I tried to make his face move             his face was white
his clothes were white                               with   arms   held   wide
his holy corpse was white      and I tried to make him move

I did this by making myself as still as possible
                                                someone must always be moving       and if you do not

but no              so

                                    I struck him
                        MOVE
                                    goddamn you MOVE

I got back in the car
I started driving around the hill faster
and faster
                        a little too fast
            just a little too
                        fast

wouldn’t it be wonderful if I forgot to make this
                                    next turn
            wouldn’t it be wonderful if I forgot
to straighten the wheel at this next turn
                        wouldn’t it be wonderful if I forgot
            to step on the brake
                                    wouldn’t it be wonderful if that tree
                                                was buried in my face
                        wouldn’t it be wonderful
if I could

die
                                    
cry

Selected byNolcha Fox
Image credit:John Thomas

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans (street musician,

psych tech, riverboat something-or-other, door-to-door poetry peddler, etc.), Matt

Dennison finished his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University where he won

the National Sigma Tau Delta essay competition (judged by X.J. Kennedy) and placed

third in the Southern Literary Festival for fiction. He is the author of Kind Surgery, from

Urtica Press (Fr.) and Waiting for Better, from Main Street Rag Press. His poetry has appeared

or is forthcoming in Verse Daily, Rattle, The National Poetry Review, Bayou Magazine, Autumn

Sky Poetry Daily, DIAGRAM, The New York Quarterly Magazine, Modern Haiku, Whale Road

Review, The Inflectionist Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, San Pedro River Review,

The G.W. Review, Gargoyle, Slipstream, Midwest Quarterly, Saranac Review, Sheepshead Review,

Blue Earth Review, Pembroke Magazine, Tulane Review, Chiron Review, Steam Ticket, Redivider

and Cider Press Review, among others. His fiction has appeared in ShortStory Substack, THEMA,

GUD, The Blue Crow (Aus), Prole (UK), The Jersey Devil Press, The Wondrous Real,

and is forthcoming in Story Unlikely.

 

 

He has also made short films with Michael Dickes, Swoon, Marie Craven and Jutta

Pryor.

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kind-surgery-matt-dennison/1135926181

 

 

https://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product/waiting-for-better-matt-dennison/