Poetry: Richard Manly Heiman’s “Great great great great uncle”

////Poetry: Richard Manly Heiman’s “Great great great great uncle”
Poetry: Richard Manly Heiman's "Great, great, great, great Uncle"

Image: “Dark Flowers,” painting by Rebecca Ann Crecelius, BFA (Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts), MFA (Academy of Art University).

Great great great great uncle
Richard Manly Heiman

You glared fierce past the primitive lens
as if it were a Yankee and you, fifteen,
un-bearded, already night rode snorting
mares along the Chariton a dozen years
before mud and congealing blood of
dozens / hundreds / six hundred thousand
slaughtered mixed in sepia earth. Some

have faces still–daguerreotype mania
swept the continent and portrait fever
gripped the Boonslick country. How
the camera betrays vulnerability
of a hairless child-man chest, farm
muscles sprouting through a half open
satin blouse. I like to think it was red.

I like to think you stole a fast kiss from
your first girl that year—somewhere in
the pasture, or behind the old barn, still
standing after 1865. I like to think yarrow
and slender mountain mint bloom by
your headstone, early Junes, and sweet
spring stolen from so many gaunt and
careless boys–so many—lingers there.




About the writer:
Richard Manly Heiman lives in the pines on the slope of the Sierra Nevada. He works as a substitute teacher and writes when the kids are at recess. Richard’s work has been published by Rattle, Bop Dead City, Spirit Fire Review, Into the Void and elsewhere. He is a two-time 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.



By | 2017-12-04T16:51:04+00:00 December 4th, 2017|LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Poetry|