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Monday, December 07, 2009


by CB Follett

The young men
in the neighborhood,
I mean, the young men,
the ones who are men
by the time they are seven,
     seven come eleven
a crap shoot
when young boys are men
and the men are fighting
one to a sack.

And the mamas,
the mamas are grannies
before they hit twenty-eight,
and the two in the playpen
are nephew and aunt,
daughter and grandson
mixed up together
in the toys, rancid spit-up,
noise, and the no-time-to-nap,
those two, or her,
or any of them.
Don't turn
don't nap
and watch when you nod,
there's always trouble waiting.
Bad days
nights worse,
school's gone,
jobs whistle in your face.
Government wants you
for their looking-good-charts
with your spanish name
and your
black face
that don't get you nothing,
nothing good at all.

Winner of the 2001 National Poetry Book Award from Salmon Run Press, CB Follett has had poems published by Ploughshares, Alligator Juniper, Calyx, Americas Review, Peregrine, The Cumberland Review, Rain City Review, Ambit (England), The MacGuffin, Snowy Egret, Birmingham Poetry Review, New Letters Review, Psychological Perspectives, Without Halos, The Iowa Woman, Heaven Bone, Green Fuse, Black Bear Review, among others. She has been in many anthologies; received contest honors in the Billee Murray Denny, New Letters Prize, the Ann Stanford Prize, the Glimmer Train Poetry Contest and several contests from Poetry Society of America, among others. Five poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Prize plus three nominations as an individual poet. The most recent of her four collections of poetry is And Freddie Was My Darling, 2009. CB Follett is publisher/editor of Arctos Press, including the anthology, GRRRRR, A Collection of Poems About Bears; she was publisher and co-editor of RUNES, A Review of Poetry, 2001-to 2008.