after a photograph by Eudora Welty,
Grenada, Mississippi, 1935
There’s a hot breeze. She’s got her sleeves
rolled up in her armpit; one’s fallen down.
His pants are too big now, bottoms wrinkled;
he’s walked through mud and rain in these cuffs
and these shoes. Her white shoes are dirty, too.
They don’t look at each other. He’s looking
at something happening down the street
and glancing in the shop window at himself:
What’s he got to offer her? Where’s he going
to take her? She’s not worried. She’s looking
straight at the camera, flicking a drop of sweat
from the end of her nose with her pinky finger.
Yeah, he can dance, he’ll get hold of something,
we’ll have a good time, and I know I look good.
You see his cheekbones? You see his arms?
~ ~ ~
Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, mostly recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). Her poem “The Towns” appeared in the first issue of the museum of americana, and her work also appears in Arsenic Lobster, Confrontation, Menacing Hedge, and Poetry East. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.