Dead Dogs and Dried​-​Up Dreams

from by A.M. Rodriguez



In our town when all the land was dry our grandmothers would pray for rain
But while thinning hands clawed up, bone-like at the sky, brier grew thick ‘round their graves
We buried them out in back of our of yards, next to our dead dogs and dried up dreams--
--Wishes we’d planted for a factory full of jobs, but now that’s a spring we’ll never see

Ah, but sure as hell down at the bottom of the well
I will thirst in fire and flame
Got no headstone in the dustbowl sand
And no sun to light up no name

In the basement where my father swept, baby brother broke his teeth on glass
While older sister lost her husband to the fold of Christians up around the pass
I heard they promised him all he could want--a loving father for all his life
but when daddy cuts his face while shaving in the morning it’s a sure bet momma’ll be made to cry

Crawling out of the valley I saw three old men on a ledge
The youngest one he flew himself off and hovered just below the edge
“Come down, come down, the air is fine!” is what he told his friends
“We’re falling out to Glory tonight.” So their backs, they turned to him.

Down South I met a madonna and child. Their legs were marked with sores.
They asked me where I’d go for work. “Well, Momma always said I was a whore.”
They pointed me to a city of sin with bright lights, where the sun don’t shine.
But no work I found, nor response to the sound of cries for my body to be touched

I went to see young Neil out west, he told me we could play
But I met old Rhonda in the swap and we grew a place to stay
Walls of thicket and stone reminded me how I’d roamed, and it was then I knew.
She told me in bed, as my eyes my eyes grew dead, “Honey, you can never go home.”


from Dead Dogs and Dried​-​Up Dreams, released November 19, 2016
written by A.M. Rodriguez with Jason Bible 2016



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A.M. Rodriguez Savannah, Georgia

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