Wendy Gist

Dodging the Super Bowl

Wendy Gist

Striding by a shrine of Mother
Mary perched on brown turf,
I stumble upon a cow skull bone,
then a plastic swan spilling pink
synthetic rosebuds pale.

As I scramble by, hollers girt
the open garage as
youth-full males
boozing too soon roar:
Go Ravens!”

from within stucco walls coaxes
the neighborhood, gusto
for good chile bowl green
in dead of winter.

A single raven feather floats
above tip-tops
of knurled trees
flanking the town’s
High School football field;

church doors burst vowels
circumnavigating streets
bathed in faith.
And on these concrete strolls
stand strangers in worlds alone:

longwinded conversations
with ghosts,
on sidewalks made
in another age—splitting.
Doves cry
unto the rare moist air
in a border town nicknamed in
1881 New Chicago, where now
prickly pear pads drop to sandy alleys
like green gibbous moons

sprouting spikes that hurt.
Turn to the stark park alight
in wintry sun, soiled earloops
of surgeon’s mask dangling
from the chain-link fence and

church bells boom,
sirens shrill, and rounding
the hospital I spy an old man
and his wide grin, watering
a yard of fine grain sand.

He says with a wink of immense
portent, raising the nose of the hose,
trigger pulled,
When the wind blitz through, water
glues the dirt so it won’t fill my yurt.”

He lobs white bread stale
to balmy doves
on the sidewalk old
and fractured in front of him,
zigzagging my rush to home. 

WENDY GIST was born in California, raised in Northern Arizona. Her poems and flash fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Burningword Literary Journal, Crack the Spine, Dark Matter Journal, New Plains Review, Oyez Review, Pif Magazine, Rio Grande Review, RipRap, The Chaffey Review, The Fourth River, Tulane Review, Yellow Medicine Review and other fine journals.