kristin thacher | the drought poems

10 04 2008

Kristin ThacherWhirlwind – Honorable Mention Award

Poetry Dispatch No. 227 | April 10, 2008

Kristin Thacher

Kris Thacher is a potter and poet who lives off the grid in the mountains of northern New Mexico. She knows drought, she knows water, she knows earth, she knows green. Above all she understand the complexities of the human condition and has the words and hands to give her world and ours shape.

The following poems are from a work in progress, THE DROUGHT POEMS, a number of which appear in the recent anthology, OTHER VOICES.

The manuscript remains ‘in progress.’ Norbert Blei

In the First Year of the Drought

In the first year
Of the drought,
The Rain became
The Land’s teenage daughter,
Full of broken promises.

“Believe me, It will rain on Wednesday!”
but on Wednesday, another scorcher.
Heat waves cursed their way
out of angry rocks.

“I’ll be there-early in the afternoon…”
but after a smirking sundown,
another hot black night
sniggered behind the tepid moon.

“I promise, I’ll be back by dark!”
but late winds emptied the evening sky.
Is that the sound of rain on the roof?
No, just a dust devil hurling sticks and stones.

“I’ll be there on time. Don’t worry!”
but after five months of damp excuses
the Land stopped listening
and locked the door.

Spring’s wise flowers refused to uncoil
Or rise from the spurned Land
Shamed by the Rain’s lies
And the dishonor of Drought.

The Mystery at Night with You

It is evening.

We are watching TV.
We are watching a mystery
about a police detective whose wife was murdered.
The detective is obsessed with finding her killer.
He has photos of the crime scene
taped all over the back wall of his garage.
It looks like a stalker’s sacrificial alter.
I say it looks like he killed her.
You say, No, it doesn’t.
If someone murdered you,
I would do that,
assemble all the clues
become obsessed
with finding the killer.
I think
you have missed all the clues.
We are watching TV.
We are watching a mystery.

It is evening.

The Food of Love

At the end of the day
she wanted to ask him
if they would ever
fuck again.

He tramped in the kitchen
with the mail, just more bills,
and the bag of groceries,
just more chicken.

He was getting bald,
love handles and a belly,
but who was she
to talk.

She began to baste the chicken thighs
with Hawaiian barbeque sauce,
sweet and tangy, hint of oranges,
just enough sugar, just enough sass.

Before she replaced the cap
her tongue mindlessly licked
dripping spicy sauce running thick
down the twisting ridges of the bottle neck.

She licked her lips.
He said, Don’t do that. It’s disgusting.
If you do that again,
I’ll get my own bottle of sauce.

She stopped and looked up.
She put the bottle down.
She wiped it clean with soapy water,
rinsed, dried, replaced it on the shelf in the fridge.

The answer was
They weren’t.
The chicken was done.

Fighting the Drought

I smear on
invisible war paint
eye defense gel
age defying créme
skin therapy
sheer body oil
radiant hands cream
all natural moisturizing formulas
rich in aloe and vitamin e
secret luxurious softness
long-lasting texture improvers
blemish bleaching
wrinkle removers
and walk out over the hill
into the desert
of old age.

from OTHER VOICES, Works in Progress, Cross+Roads Press, 2007]