Hunched on his stoop he whittles
at the hours, strokes long,
well-cadenced. Time slows,
the Carolina sun hangs high
spewing noonday heat.
A black fly buzzes with menace,
pauses its raid to settle on the brim
of his floppy plantation hat.
A crusty hand rises, a perfunctory
swat and back to business.
facial grooves, furrows
etched by the silver blade
of a prejudice far older than he.
He doesn’t speak, his eyes
lidded are cast down.
Shavings of brown bark-skin
pirouette to the ground, mounding
curlicued at his feet crusted
black with bottom land mud.
The honed stick is transformed –
bone white, smooth as a sliver
of the finest African mahogany.
Krikor Der Hohannesian. lives in Medford, MA. His poems have appeared in many literary journals including The Evansville Review, The South Carolina Review, Atlanta Review, Louisiana Literature, Connecticut Review and Hawai’i Pacific Review. He is the author of two chapbooks,“Ghosts and Whispers” (Finishing Line Press, 2010) and “Refuge in the Shadows” (Cervena Barva Press, 2013). “Ghosts and Whispers” was a finalist for the Mass Book awards poetry category in 2011. Krikor has been the other featured guest for Chelsea Writers’ Cafe July 15 meetup.