is driveway gravel
chewed up like bubble gum
spit out teeth call them words
clippin consonants
hawkin up vowels

my language
is the back roads of English
miles of absolute nothin

can you see my father
bullshittin bout huntin
with his buddies // can you see
the shotguns lined up
real neat in his bedroom
can you smell it on my coat
like cigarette smoke
from the woman next door
puffin gossipin with mom
bout who’s knocked up whose
lawn mower got jacked
who up n left last midnight

our back road drawl
fills a tiny home // me
tucked away…..mouth shut
kept shut // this town
locked between teeth


Ree Sherwood’s work is published or forthcoming in Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets, Lavender Review, and Rivet. Currently, Ree is pursuing an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and reading for Carve magazine.

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