Flotsam, NC

by Janet Ford

They’re at it again
in the house next door.
I hate you—I wish
I’d never met you—

you have ruined
my life!
A carillon
of china
crashes to the floor;

the pirates have forgotten
it’s their ship now
and they’re throwing the cargo
overboard.

Across the way a neighbor
plods his weekend labyrinth
following the two-cycle
drone of the mower

and his oblivion
is a kind of sanctuary
for our broken litanies
and the screaming of the grass.

A pass a season
would keep the woods
at bay. It is for us,
this carving of a path

where there is no path,
this circling to the center
every Saturday.
Bermuda and dandelion

spatter the curb
the wet confetti
after the parade
like the frothy green waves

that serenade
among the wreckage
washing up
along the Spanish Main.

Janet Ford lives in the Brushy Mountains of Western North Carolina. The recipient of the 2017 Guy Owen Prize from Southern Poetry Review, her poems have appeared in The North Carolina Literary Review Online, Poetry East, Caesura, and elsewhere. In 2022 she received the Margaret Laughter Myers Residency Fellowship Award. Her work is featured in Poetry in Plain Sight 2023.