Donna Dallas

W.T.

When I drive back to the house
Three stories with
railroad rooms
still under foreclosure
my brother holed up
in the basement
sits on a toilet that doesn’t work
smokes meth for days
and trips
until his legs are purple
and swollen
from sitting in that same spot
my sister-in-law relies heavily
on Zani
she’s got a fucking gut like
Kuato is living under her shirt
from
the drink
from God knows what

I’ve watched the daisies
the African violets
bloom
under the weeping willow
year after year
I’ve tried to help them all
when I lived upstairs
and she would come up
black eyed and fucked up
or their kids would pound
on my door
scream bloody murder
because he beat her again
and again

The Weeping willow is dead now
looks like a
sinister twisted stump 
lurks behind a busted up fish tank
a ratty chair and a crate with empty beer
bottles
in my old apartment now live
her sister 
who escaped her ex
he became a Satan worshipper
she had to change her name just in case
he came for them
her, their daughter and son live there
along with the son’s girlfriend
this is how we live
it’s called white trash
it’s so obvious it’s a nationality
a branding

I still feel it
the trash
Mom would sit out the third floor
windowsill
smoke cigarette after cigarette
watched everyone and everything
except us
I didn’t need watching
I needed a mother who wasn’t
recovering
and didn’t bring a bible toting boyfriend home
from AA
who would help us all recover
together in the house
in the middle of the block
surrounded by other white-trashers
with their own set of problems
and maybe a worse
or a lighter load
than ours

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