Night Songsby Allison Thorpe
For Billie Holiday
Whenever Stella and my mother got together
out came the Mogen David and the Newports,
behavior my father would stomp in an instant.
They'd sit out on the screened back porch,
let Billie Holiday drift over the lake
like a silky sailboat.
Feral, I would creep from my bed,
listen to my mother's soft sobs,
Stella's fuck him whispered over and over,
then Stella would grab my mother
and they’d dance to Billie's Blue Moon,
Stormy Weather, My Man Don't Love Me,
twirling and waltzing around the patio,
arms fluid as liquid persuasion,
until they were singing Billie so loudly
the stars quaked and fell,
and I’d sleep, finally, to the healing
heartbreak of women.
* * * * *
"Night Songs" originally appeared on Workhorse Publishing website.
Allison Thorpe is the author of several collections of poetry, the most recent being Reckless Pilgrims (Broadstone Books). Her work has appeared in such journals as So To Speak, Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, Split Rock Review, Roanoke Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Gingerbread House. She'd love to be an international poker player.