Midnight Feed by Daisy Fried

The open shed on the lawn’s far side stinks of gas
from the hateful mower that pulls me where it wants
when I mow, which is seldom. I rip up grass.
Humid night’s moon’s nothing-halo; the lawn pretends
to candy floss. Black-white dud roses dead since June,
alive enough to scratch my bare legs. I’m wearing nothing
but underpants, flipflops. Arms full, I stumble out,
flashlight in my mouth, turn my head to choose
what’s lit. Inside the dirt-floor shed, I fill bowls:
Dry bits, tuna slop. The flashlight hurts my mouth
till I drop it, dwindles into its cone where it falls to blight
a denticular leaf.

“Raphael! Gabriel! Lucifer!” Feral
kittens come running, vicious, filthy. Hum of the road.
Uriel shines his reflector-eyes from among mower parts
in the shed’s darkest corner. Disgust shakes his paw.
He won’t get close since wild La Mamma ran off weeks ago.
My three-month daughter cries on the baby monitor
I wear like a Miss America sash. She’ll wait,
Uriel must eat. Can’t leave them. Coons or coyotes
would get the food and kittens too. My fur rises
on my arms. What a bad mom! Also, I refuse
to look at the stars. There are too many
stars in poems you have to get drunk to write.

From: Fried, Daisy, Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, 2013, University of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh, Pa., p. [unnumbered].
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zTpXAQAAQBAJ)

Date: 2013

By: Daisy Fried (1967- )

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