"Cedric the mule remembers Aralee Strange" - M Bromberg
"She was a good animal as humans go --
one of the few who understood me,
which is more than I can say
about most two-legged creatures.
She knew how to laugh, that's sure,
made me bray out loud myself sometimes.
I taught her all I knew. She was a quick study.
That lightning flash across her cheek
wasn't there just for show. No.
And you better find yourself
on the right side of her wit
or she'd make sure you knew.
Ha! She sure was fine country stock.
Sometimes I could tell we were kin
to the same Alabama earth
just how she smiled at me.
She offered hundred-proof understanding
straight, no chaser.
Miss her? Hell,I expect her human folk won't ache
for missing Aralee's sagittarian ways
more than I do, most days.
Won't be long I'm sure now
I'll see her come walking down
those Timberdance tall woods,
hear her surprised Wild Turkey voice ask
where I got off to, so sly. Together again --
and won't we have a good bray then!"
Aralee Strange (1943 - 2013) organized Athens Word of Mouth “because poetry is about paying attention to that which contains a truth, but is more, much more, than simple truth. In poetry there is clarity of language, in short supply these days. I say people should pay attention, sign up and mouth off … in poetry and in life.” Aralee passed away in June, 2013. The photo above, donated by Athens photographer Bob Brussack, is permanently installed upstairs at The Globe in Athens, GA.