MUD SONG by Terry Ann Thaxton

From Transcendence (issue 18), released April 28th at Octopus Literary Salon in downtown Oakland.


I found the hollowed-out wind, a thin

un-readable sign,

and, for three hours, I hiked the muddied path—

bright palmettos, armadillo holes, dog shit.


Each step was still a desperate rerun of childhood.

I, the oldest girl, did not become a thin tugboat,

as predicted, floating along the horizon.


Though I’ll never again see

my parents, their lives are nailed to mine.

Like their little girl of silver I wait for the call,

still angry at my hands, like pebbles, in the kitchen sink.

I caved into expectations, but never

stopped asking for daisies or gardenias.

I felt like a mournful twig.


Here, I could start dying. My head

falls onto the shag carpet

of my teenage room. I walk

as if I can no longer hear my parents.

I know the value

of mud on a dog’s paw. I want to wake up

and disappear into the minutes

where the crows fly.

I want someone

to leave me in the clouds

and carry my gown across the night.


Terry Ann Thaxton has two books of poems: Getaway Girl and The Terrible Wife, as well as a textbook, Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide. She’s also published essays and poetry in Connecticut Review, Defunct, Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, flyway, Sou’wester, Lullwater, Teaching Artist Journal, and other journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida.

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