Mother’s Persian Rugs

"In the Rain" by Franz Marc

Mother wouldn’t have liked
those three men—
with their long grizzly beards
and big Milwaukee guts,
not to mention the mud
they tracked all over
Mother’s Persian rugs.
That day it was raining
harder than it had
in years in Wisconsin,
plus the dog was barking
it never did like strangers.
And now these three
tramping through the house
in big workman boots,
and shouting at each other.
Rain’s comin’ harrrrd,
how she would have hated
the way they said their r’s.
Gimmee dat tarrp
the fattest man yelled
writing on his pad.
The dog was yelping now,
and snapping at their boots.
Don’t upset the dog
I can still hear her say—
as they slipped the tarp beneath her,
covered up her body
and took my mother away.


Jodie Hollander’s first full-length collection, My Dark Horses, is available with Liverpool University Press in the U.K. and Oxford University Press in the U.S. “Mother’s Persian Rugs” is reprinted with permission from Oxford University Press.


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