Bundren

i’d a tole him
not to name his son ‘Anse’
because the sounding of it’s
like ants – and ants,

while active, only end
up hugging the ground.
i’d a tole him
that his son would be like the ants

with the hugging. that
a boy named Anse
would work and work and tire,
rubbing off his own toenails

in the frenzy and sweating
out his work ethic
til the fever took him
and he only ever

hugged the ground after,
Anse. ants. ants. anse.
like the sounding of the
trees in a autumn wind,

the sounding of his name.
not the wind
but the trees.
the sounding of his name.

i’d a tole him
that Anse is a boy’s name
and so the boy would
outlive the man

in the one vessel.
that a man-Anse
would only ever
reverse things, turn them over

like coins in his hand,
(or peaches, maybe, or jewels)
and keep the turning like
clockwork. flipping things

on their heads like
the roarings of a mighty
floodriver or the backwash
of silt and timber and horses and wood.

the chile will stagnate
and putrefy, i’d a said.
but he wouldn’ta listened.
he was a Bundren, see,

and all that ilk
are planted upright,
more like a grove than a family:
steadfast, stalwart, unyielding, bound.

i’d a tole him just the same.

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2 thoughts on “Bundren

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