ISBN: 978-1-59948-733-5, ~40 pages, $12 (+ shipping)
Projected Release Date: May 2019
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About The Author
Anna Harris-Parker has published work in AMP, Cellpoems, Slant, and other journals. She holds degrees from Converse College and Wichita State University. She teaches at Augusta University, where she also directs Writers Weekend and advises Sand Hills literary magazine. She lives in Georgia with her husband and their two dogs.
How to Lose a Language
Doris Jean Lamar McLemore,
the last Wichita Indian. Born 1927,
raised by grandparents
who spoke only Wichita in the home.
Two marriages to white husbands.
Whenever she talked Wichita,
one of her daughters would cry,
beg her to stop.
Now, she is running out of things to say.
In Wichita, there are no words for hello, goodbye.
Age 12: My Parents Trade Grand Strand Beach Houses
for a Fish Camp in McIntosh County, GA
I resent the Julienton, fluid
contradiction of fresh and salt water,
with changing tides eroding
the bluff beneath my family’s “new” cabin,
which requires sandals in the shower,
smoking Swisher Sweets to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Each spring, the river spits out debris from upstream:
water beds of grass and reeds, decorated
with fish hooks and six-pack rings.
But then, I watch porpoises swim in the wake
of Dad’s old skiff. Beavers dive into bait buckets
on the dock. Horseshoe crabs crowd to mate
along the sand bar. I climb fallen trees in the boneyard
on the beach of Blackbeard, where wild boars run.
Still jet-lagged, we drove north in silence,
save for bluegrass in the background,
our Jamaica sun tans already fading
in the white fog of a new, Georgia December.
Every few moments, we looked back
at our big girl, blanketed on the floorboard,
then up, to check on each other.
At Caleb’s parents’ place, we drove
through the field of our engagement shoot,
into the woods, settling on a spot
just off the trail, next to a bench.
We dug, pausing only to break up roots.
At the hospital, we said we were sorry.
We said we loved her.
We said we loved each other.
The rain heavied as we packed dirt
around Penny’s grave. My husband searched
for markers to honor his first love:
a pillar of rocks from the bank of the pond,
the last rose from the garden,
her stainless steel food bowl.