Issue > Poetry
Kristene Brown

Kristene Brown

Kristene Brown is a psychiatric social worker for the State of Kansas. She has recently been published or has work forthcoming in Midwest Quarterly, Swink and elsewhere. Kristene received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She currently resides in Kansas City.

Mugshot of Grandma

If this photo could speak
     it would
slur, it would spit. Framed
in hard edges,
black and white, her face
a fight,
a riot
     of broken lines
in dirt worn cheeks.
Taken, the night she charged
into every rowdydow honky-tonk
west of Warsaw,
     looking
for that mean old mister
Pop-Pop. Her hair fist-knotted
     into the bog-slosh
     of tears and mud
tangled into some long night,
last call,
     whiskey, beer,
          fuck it all.
Her mouth a slow drawl
     yodel-ladee
song and dance
of handcuffed backtalk
in that cattle-dusted
back lot where she found him
      with her,
the other woman.
In the photo her eyes are closed
as if she's crying
or is about to.
     Captured
in a quick white flash—
     shot
when she wasn't even looking.

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