green by Molly Flanagan

Daddy lost his job last year
and the year before
and momma hers the years before that
but momma got herself a job back
we bought a car to get from here to there
to job and back
for daddy to teach me to drive when i’m
already ripe and smoking
the joint between momma’s forefinger and
thumb passing around like paper wrapped
golden leaf worth more than daddy and momma
and the siding around us sleeping at night in
the beds we pay for in dying
breaths from momma’s hospice patients and the meat
daddy ripped cut slapped the months years decades leading up to
the fire
which burns in our fingers from drivers seat to passenger to
the back i sit in leather seats
wearing three necklaces thrown from a town truck
returned from retirement
no more rusty bumpers and highway calls.

I’m covered in green
shamrocks like me with shiny beads
Emerald gold purple
If wrapped further around me, my neck,
heritage wrapped around my neck in the fake carnation in the lapel of the corduroy 1970s jacket i found in the basements in the years when the girls had friends down and the smoke got all in the fabrics and daddy had
green to pay
for the cleaners to trudge up the smoke in the couch into black corduroy
now covered freckled flesh
green like momma says
daddy on the sidewalk with the little ones
catching candy and necklaces for me to drape over dirty hair
which ripples blonde down pale cheeks
running away from the motherland
her mossy face moist at midnight or three in the afternoon whatever time momma and daddy want to get high
And forget about the Troubles.

Molly Flanagan is currently a senior at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut, where she works as Associate Editor of Folio, the undergraduate literary and art journal at SCSU. Her visual art and short stories have also been published in Folio and ANGLES. This past spring, Molly was awarded the 2019 Creative Writing Award by SCSU English Department.

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