The June 6 deadline for submissions is just around the corner. For full details on what exhibits are available and submission guidelines, click this link https://artofpoetry.net/2015/05/14/brenda-smiths-club-scene-after-william-blackburn-details-for-june-art-of-poetry-submissions
Bless His Heart
after “The Miracle of Hickory”
Pants down, faces caved as long painful
needles bore into buttocks, inoculating us
at school–a parade of cherry suckers, wet
with tears and snot. Polio, a rousing word
like a schoolyard game, struck fear in parents
back then. It deformed children, could kill.
Mama’s baby, only boy–my stuttering
brother had rickets, heartbreaking blue eyes.
That l950s morning when he yelled from bed
“M-M-Mamaaaaaa. I can’t g-g-get up”,
our mother screamed for my sister and me
to get in our room. In that moment, horrible
stories came true–my six-year-old brother
doomed, iron lung, heavy steel braces, withered
legs, and worse. We waited the eternity it took
for Mama to laugh as she pulled him from
cowboy pajama top, stuck to bed sheet
by a buckaroo-sized wad of pink bubblegum.