Poet of the Week: Dustin Pearson

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The Thawing Season

There are times when the door to Mom’s bedroom
doesn’t open. Sometimes, it lasts for months.
Frost creeps from the floor tiles to the walls,
but her door still burns like a furnace. What’s left
of the heat throughout the rest of the house floats
to the top. Dad shows in his red pickup. In the back
are meat hooks and long lays of chicken and beef and pork.
Through the door, Dad animates in black boots,
an apron and rubber gloves. Before long, his frozen cast
of meats hangs above us. He puts a pot of water to boil
on the stove and looks after us. Perhaps he’s lonely.
As the door to Mom’s room cracks, the meat starts
to thaw. Flies gather. The hooks and meat sway
in the air above us and drip, and soften shape,
and sometimes fall on us from the ceiling.
We’re covered in blood, dead meats and their juices
with our dad, and we settle in well to this routine
by the time the water boils, he’s gone again.

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