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Sherry Asbury Aug 2015

A gray, decaying cocoon
lies snug up against
a Sunday plate-glass window.
All that can be seen
is the jeans-covered ****
of some homeless person.
Charity blankets never
cover everything at once.
At the edges
of the chrysalis is
a banner from some parade,
wrapped like a royal-blue
winding cloth.
What emerges as
the sun floats high, could
hardly be called a butterfly.
It is the old man who
sits, nodding, by a square
of cardboard, hand out for change.
His unfurled banner lies, catching
breezes nearby.
His old gray blanket bleeds
his stink into the street.
He waits for the hour
when he can bind himself
to his bottle, squirming back
into his corner.
Sherry Asbury Aug 2015
I was just five years old,
and Montana springs can be very cold.
It was time to go hunting for some
poor creature, men with rifles bold.

Off we trekked to the Bitterroot Valley.
A line of cars and pickups a mile long.
Hunting camp set up by the men first.
Then the women with bustle strong.

Daddy led me by the hand to a place
where the water was knee deep
to a giraffe...but I had rubber boots with
a yellow ducky,  that never made a peep.

Suddenly adults were flying and crying,
running here and there in fearsome flight.
I did not understand what gave these folks
such a sudden and terribly awful fright.

Seems I stepped in a rattlesnake nest,
I thought they were cute little worms.
I wanted to get one for daddy’s fishing,
so I started to reach toward the squirms.

Now, baby rattlers can bite seriously,
but I had red boots with a yellow ducky,
and their furious little bites were not
able to bite, through boots...Lucky.

But those fingers reached out - well,
they were snatched by an aunt who wailed,
and no one told me why they were so tense,
to each other the story was detailed.

Innocent as lamb was I about those
reptiles that looked so cute and harmless.
I never knew my auntie had saved me
from being bitten and  being armless.

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Sherry Asbury Aug 2015
Crabbed old feet,
in shoes too small,
too ***** and too red.
A bit of music escapes
from some trendy cafe
and she dances
in the wailing cold.
She remembers
when she was pretty.
She remembers
being young.

Now a ***** veil
of fears drifts
as she finds her
old age has begun.
She is worn down,
worn out, ****** dry
by the pain every
woman knows.
The laughing mouth
of the grave waits
to welcome her home
Sherry Asbury Aug 2015
Born of cosmic particles of light
she is beauty beyond imagining.
When she clasps her hands
in contemplation, suns are born,
the moon rides high on her shoulders.
Diviner of the universe, boundless
power born of the goodness
that encompasses all and endless.
Sherry Asbury Aug 2015
Melvin’s Hat

Melvin’s hat was blue,
it smelled of tobacco
and rode close to his ears.
Kept the evil thoughts out.
Kept the evil thoughts  in...
even pon a hell-hot July day,
on a Tri-Met bus going uptown,
Melvin wore his hat.
He rolled his own cigarettes,
leaky confections that
shed  onto his black skin
like dandruff.
He struck his matches
on the **** of his jeans.
Melvin had two teeth;
yellow commas
on each side of a leathery smile.
Two boys got on the bus.
They snatched Melvin’s hat
right  off his off
and set it on fire.
Two boys as black as him!
They ran, those bad boys.
One ran under the wheels
of a 1989 Pontiac, green.
Sirens screamed.
Horns honked.
People panicked.
Melvin’s feet burned
like holy fire.

He had to hurry.
He had to be quick.

He had to find another  hat
before any more evil thoughts
leaked out and killed more boys.
Sherry Asbury Jul 2015
The fox of terror
flicks its tail, smells the wind,
and slinks toward its prey.

She is a woman
with years strung on
her neck instead of pearls.
She knows the hunt and chase
they will do.

Pricking its ears
the fox slinks closer,
breath stinking with rage;
blood lust pumps in its veins.

She feels its eyes upon her,
hears the vague exhalations
of its panting.

Ever closer, the fox toys with her.
Its ruff engorged, its jaws open,

She shivers as she
silently waits to see
its feral eyes reflected
in her own.

When it pounces
the world explodes in fists,
knuckles and the teeth of terror
that tear here flesh until...
she is no more.
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