Daddy still doesn’t know me after forty years.
Thinks I ought to praise Jesus and live five miles away.
He reads a poem I wrote about a penis.
Throws his arm high like Moses with a staff.
Stomps out the back door
mumbling in his wake.
Later I hear him tell mama
"That girl of yours writes in the dirt."
I turn my face to the wall.
Cracks of plaster deepen
every time the house settles.
Red clay shifts to quicksand
swallows me whole.
My poem floats beyond the live oak.
This poem by Chella Courington was published in the recent issue of _In the Grove_.