Dementia: American Pickers

2 AM. He’s awake.
Don’t need the walker hell no.
My brother catches him mid-fall.
For Dad, it’s sunup. No matter we show him
the pitch dark outside, the clocks, our phones,
the 4 watches he’s placed in a perfect row
on the kitchen table. Finally, he has enough
of us and our so-called truth.
You believe what you believe. I believe
what I believe. That shuts us up all right.
We make coffee. Camp out in the den,
let the always-day of TV take over.
One episode after another of American Pickers.
Mike and Frank, who take road trips and
bargain for “rusty gold” in the wilds of rural America
and sometimes cities, too. Lord, the stuff they find!
The crazy-as-a-fox backwoods folk they meet!
There’s Lester the Taxidermist
with his stuffed miniature horse. Big Bear
and his World War 2 Samurai sword.
There’s Goat Man and Mole Man and Hobo Jack.
Backyard shacks where Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots
lurk. Planet of the Apes lunchbox, pristine.
An honest-to-God dinosaur bone. Not to mention
a 10-foot fiberglass cowboy boot.
Sunup for real, my brother helps our father
to bed. The teepee with red handprints holds me,
this stage prop belonging to Iron Eyes Cody,
the “Crying Indian” from those early ’70s
anti-littering commercials. Truth be told,
he was a Louisiana boy with Italian roots.
His tear was glycerin. I googled him.

Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird’s fourth collection of poems, Wild Juice, will be published in the Southern Messenger Poets Series (LSU Press) in Spring 2021. The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014) won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, most recently Image, Sewanee Review, and American Journal of Poetry. Her novel, Lightningstruck (Mercer University Press, 2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. www.ashleymacehavird.com.
Ashley Mace Havird

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Author: Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird’s fourth collection of poems, Wild Juice, will be published in the Southern Messenger Poets Series (LSU Press) in Spring 2021. The Garden of the Fugitives (Texas Review Press, 2014) won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, most recently Image, Sewanee Review, and American Journal of Poetry. Her novel, Lightningstruck (Mercer University Press, 2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. www.ashleymacehavird.com.