The Ramingo’s Porch – “Raid” & “Mother” Two Poems By Jimmy Broccoli


My mother sprays the ants
They eat the food we lazily leave out
And attack the dog food with vigor

They are no match against my mother’s
Thick legs and a mouth that swears too much

They march like soldiers in lines so perfect
No crookedness can breathe

I smell an unforgiving odor
Agent Orange is being released

Their legs are now forever still
Their heads are on their sides in defeat

All of them are dead
Bodies are everywhere
And I couldn’t feel worse


My mother cleans when she’s sad
Our tables have no dust
The windows have no streaks
The carpet, step lightly, there must be no ware
Tears gently run down her face
For angelic bathtubs. No mildew. No stains

I scrub away my melancholy
And sweep away my loneliness, like dust bunnies
I’ve decided not to cry today
I’m a lot like my mother
But I’m lazy and messy and a disappointment

We – my family – we mostly keep to ourselves
My father reads the newspaper
My mother fumbles with the hobbies she despises
I wear headphones like skin

My sister drowned 3 years ago
She liked to ride her bike
Our backyard pool stole her breath
The bubbles floated to the surface
Until they didn’t
My mother doesn’t look away anymore
And we don’t talk about it

Through my open window I hear –
Someone speaking then someone else laughing
I remember smiling and thinking happy thoughts
Some friends thought my jokes were funny

I shut my bedroom window
Because that is the past

I do not laugh anymore

Jimmy Broccoli is a Branch Manager of a library in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Atlanta. He enjoys playing with puppies and writing frightening verse. You can reach him on Facebook.

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