A Grin

Begun under the bed of the poorest shanty
It ran through the mattress and suffered the chinches
And it ran through the veins of the farmer and his wife

It came fraying the laces of his brogans
Like the plow of a furrow's sweep
Turning the land and busting the clod-chunks

But the Grin was too broad
It was too thin
And the throngs pushed and stomped to get a glance
Before it disappeared and climbed aboard dawn's rose

From Possum by Shelby Stephenson, published by Bright Hill Press. Copyright © 2004 by Shelby Stephenson. Reprinted by permission of Bright Hill Press. All rights reserved.