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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Exotic soda pop appeals to Mary Lucille DeBerry―sarsaparilla or red cream soda. The native West Virginian confesses she avoids eating young groundhogs and possums. She would rather place them in poems. Titles of her three collections, published by Sarvis Press, evoke strong women: Bertha Butcher’s Coat (Revised 2020), Alice Saw the Beauty (2014), and She Was the Girl (2020). But she does not discriminate against men. A number of her poems involve men in the mines, men at war, men on farms. Appalachian people, flora and fauna reign. For information about her books, contact the author at redwing1@zoominternet.net

Grass and a blue sky

MARY LUCILLE DeBERRY

BIRDS, PEOPLE & A SNEAKY POSSUM

Red-shouldered hawks are hibernating now. Their bald headed babies

            will become my pets.

A raptor’s sight is as sharp as my hearing. I can hear, even inside,

            a neighbor breaking picked-up branches.

I cannot smell snow as some people can and pollution prevents me

            from enjoying snow ice cream topped with sprinkles.

During 2020, my youthful hands have aged ten years. They now are

           wrinkled and rough.

When Aloysius, an art school student looks at colors, he hears rock music.

           A falcon would be difficult to tame, difficult to name.

At the end of the rainbow, leprechauns must swim across a silver-slivered

           stream to obtain their sparkling treasure.  

Overheard at Eat’n Park: “She’s getting a degree in poetry writing.

           Lord knows what she will do with that.”

Plans to redd up my writing room keep being interrupted.

           Tax preparation looms as large as a great blue heron.

When putting books in the poetry bookcase, I shelved Allen Ginsberg’s poetry

           under “A”  just before volumes by Elizabeth Bishop.

Alere Flamman! If we hang the lantern high, all the books in the library

            will be joyfully read.

The ring was set with moonstones in order to capture stars.

            Stars shine above the possum who should only appear at night.

This one grovels out of the sewer at noon and blinks up at the sun.

           The black tailed groundhog sometimes shares the sewer trail.

Noon is when the weed-eater-wielder aka lawn-mower-man puts a brake

          on his tenacious activity.

Meticulous Madeline excels at patio clogging after discarding her inhibitions.

          The hawk parents scream at each other―with fearsome shrieks.

The sneaky possum and the chugging groundhog take turns walking

          back and forth through pinecone-covered grass in my backyard.

Header image neotakezo, Getty Images Pro

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

© 2021 Dead Skunk Mag