Doug McHargue’s “How Does It All Shake Out” after Brian Lackey

Doug McHargue

Doug McHargue shares her poem inspired by the Brian Lackey collage at Art of Poetry on June 17, 2017 at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Gin Hurley.

Doug McHargue
After “Past Lives” by Brian Lackey

I always heard the book of life
held everything you said and did,
and here it is, ruler included,
talk about precise.

Parts you’d rather forget
painted brown,
maybe they’ll flake off,
just swish them away
with this brush fine ladies
swept their cutwork cloths,
got rid of crumbs,
little sins loitering.

There are darker sins.
Use this knife quick,
before the ledger maestro
sees, cuts them out,
you know the kind,
when you stole blind
Willie’s money, or took
your sister’s man,
or the day you shot
an arrow straight
through a robin heart.

And what about those shelters
where you mopped all the floors
or the boy with no feet
you swirled around the prom
or those dying desert babies
you held all night long,
these are in orange
like every fine sun.


About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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3 Responses to Doug McHargue’s “How Does It All Shake Out” after Brian Lackey

  1. Douglas Anne McHargue says:

    Many thanks,Pat!

  2. pat says:

    Wow, Doug. I absolutely love this poem. Another fine one.

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