Kin (Pt. 3)

by George Thomas

The Middle Child

oft-abandoned his kin on park benches
in Sherman Lagoon like a Tasmanian
devil baby sacrificing the rest of
his mother’s brood as if she fed
them all from a single teet.
The pugnacious toddler whose
world was a back of the yards
barroom littered with pewter jacks
and slippery with piss and vinegar
picked fights with feral cats
and brawled with the gnats in the air.
his skin was the powder of the clay
that built the rough parts of the city
and it formed his gut and balls
and his mother
hard immigrant who played favorites
would say that the clay sprouted a
third nut in place of his brain.

Then one day his nemesis
the snapping turtle whose lair was
a kingdom of mud and Green River bottles
had snapped his new fishing pole in two.
He swore revenge on the machinations
of nature and for the rest of his life
planted the earth with stray golf balls
and shotgun shells
conquering the cornfields
in Mossy Oaks camouflaged pullovers
and polyester polo tees stamped with
the costly emblems of horsemen and alligators.

Funny that a man of such
Caligulaic persuasion
would still tremble at the creak
of his mother’s rocking chair.