Poem with Bougainvillea Losing Its Leaves
Watching my brother pull
a torso-length catfish from the pond
or run seven times around the house
or wiggle a tooth free over her black-eyed peas,
Grandma shook her head and said,
you’re somethin’ else,
a phrase that, walking along the sidewalk
in my long sleeves this morning,
I’m startled to hear
from a neighbor on his porch
alongside some bougainvillea,
somethin’ else, ain’t it?,
startled to have my thoughts spoken
before I could have spoken them,
to have been regarded but not
described, somethin’ else, not because words
are insufficient but because
some things are before words,
like attraction, and happiness,
and knowing kin.
Jessica Hudgins' "Poem with Bougainvillea Losing Its Leaves" and "Strandline" can also be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 4.
Jessica Hudgins lives in Mansfield, GA. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Nelle, Indiana Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere.