Our poem of the week, “Beatrice: 285 Mt. Vernon,” was published in Volume 1, Issue 1 of burntdistrict. Kelly Fordon’s work has also appeared in The Kenyon Review (KRO), Flashquake, Red Wheelbarrow, The Windsor Review, The Bear River Review, Voices in Wartime and various other journals.
BEATRICE: 285 MT. VERNON
By Kelly Fordon
I was new to the neighborhood. You’d seen me pregnant, galumphing up and down. One day you showed up at my door with a gift basket. You’d just had your baby. Your husband was from the thumb, his hair stiff as Florida grass. Your baby’s name was Mavis. “They cry a lot,” you warned me. You gave me Crabtree and Evelyn Primrose Bath Beads. “You’ll need a bath,” you said. Turned out you needed more than that. It was hot so you needed to cut your pants off with kitchen shears. You needed to run through the street in your birthday suit. You needed to take a sledgehammer to the wall. Your baby wasn’t blowing raspberries, she was sending you messages: Run naked down Mt. Vernon Avenue, take the kitchen knife and… When you came back weeks later, I was still pregnant. I watched you shuffle Carrie-like up and down the streets with your caregivers, your husband, your mother. Then the medication took and you went on to get your real estate license, paint the fence Tom Sawyer white. But, I will always see you naked at noon doing pirouettes in the middle of the street. It was awful. It was amazing