"Tasks" - Robert Lee Kendrick

 
 
 
 


"Tasks" - Robert Lee Kendrick

End day sun 
seeps through primer gray 
clouds, gives 
the last of its warmth 
to the rain 
swollen creek, as a hook 
                          
necked buzzard 
picks flesh from a possum
behind my truck. 
One thing has to die 
for another 
to eat, I say to the leaves.  


Some man's 
shirtless son takes aim 
at a headless 
torso he's hung from a tree, 
makes music 
with knives, going straight 
to the heart.  


Driving home to my wife, 
I'll spread  
tailpipe smoke on young trees. Two years  
since she miscarried.
Some chromosome rot in one of us, or both, 
& no luck.  


A small wake drives water 
apart. A beaver
gathers mouthfuls of branches & mud, 
his daily work
of patching the dam.
 


Robert Lee Kendrick will be featured reader at next month's Word of Mouth open mic on Wednesday, July 5. In a June 2016 interview he said of his writing that "place does it for me. The roads, creeks, and lakes of Pickens County, South Carolina, and the fields and towns of central Illinois where I grew up. I see so much road kill that I get a lot from decay and rot, as well — that’s been a big thing for about six months. Natural decay is a miracle, the biological process that nature uses to heal and renew itself. There’s no unfinished business, and I don’t know that humans can do that with loss, even with rituals, therapy, art, whatever."

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