Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

[Two Poems]

by Matt Heitland

In the Weeds

The night before Karla Jean
left for basic training
she took on all comers,
between her legs, grunting

in the weeds, loud enough
to be heard over the cassette deck
blaring from an open hatchback.

She would press her thigh
against mine during biology class
while she watched me knock out
fruit flies using ether to study
them under a microscope.

Even though she told me,
I will never need this,
I felt her pushing harder,

as their unconscious bodies
tumbled onto a sheet
of white construction paper
after the ether took hold.

When she emerged from the weeds
with her sweater on backwards,
she flicked a lit cigarette my way
and said, Looks like you missed your shot.




Taking lunch side by side on the flatbed
anyone could see the father in the son.

Their shoulders and arms thick from bucking
bales to the haymow rafters, still longed

for a baseball’s heft. Washing back bologna
and cheese sandwiches with bottles of beer

they swore to dig out their old mitts
after stacking the last of the livestock feed,

rub them with saddle soap, and re-paint
the strike zone on the barn door. Lifting

another Bud they talked of winding up
and firing what they had left

in the long shadows of that summer afternoon.


SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Matt Heitland

lives with his wife in San Diego. He received an MA at San Francisco State University. While at SFSU he served as Poetry Editor for Fourteen Hills: The San Francisco State University Review. His poems have appeared in Plainsongs, Cold Mountain Review, Coal City Review, and others.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury