But for now the music swings from her lacquered radio

Ezzard Charles Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1980

Snuffed out candlewick shadow 
disappears in the shimmer
of her snuff cans. The silver
cylinders cradle the powder
she’s prone to pucker, her lower lip
smooth with the stuff. She takes
her time. This is her time. Her mind
Her words pinch in slow motion.  
Tho nobody’s home. & she ain’t
studin you. She knows when to 
leave her imaginings. No tobacco-
cancer concerns this eve.
It’s all banana pudding feet
in slippers, vanilla wafer-colored
and wigs. She’ll leave this realm
at sixty-five, much to her children
& husband’s surprise.

Copyright © 2024 by Yona Harvey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 15, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.