Frieda And The Colonel by David Spicer

Angelica, Rabbit, and I had
met the colonel in high school.
He was a disturbed freeloader
who stared at teachers with bold
regret, as though he couldn’t
torture them yet. Ruby-eyed
Angelica had no shame, and I
had a sidekick: Rabbit. Enrique,
the colonel, was no colonel.
Frieda, his hag grandmother, dubbed
him that and groped him, decided
his destiny, purged his weakness:
the love of people. She sat erect
in a cat-scratched armchair
and preached to the four of us
behind the moon craters in her face:
This is your lesson. Join
the underground and eat a physics
sandwich. Sleep in pyramids
with Aztecs. Don’t watch
television except science fiction.
Always address each other as Sir
and Madam. Go! Swim in lava
and arrange your destinies.
And Pampacitas, she glared at us,
swallow your pride and serve
the colonel. We tried, but that evil
bastard surprised us and joined
a seminary a year to the day
that Frieda dropped dead after
a meal of mushrooms, rack of lamb,
quinoa, and three sweet sips of absinthe.

David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems accepted by or published in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Reed Magazine, Circle Show, Slim Volume, Yellow Mama, Jersey Devil Press, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., The Kitchen Poet, and elsewhere. He is the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks, is the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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