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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

[Two Poems]

by Georgia Jones-Davis

Flowers Don’t Neither

This was going to be a sad, sad movie
with death right in the title, The Assassination
of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

It is the simple man, the outlaw in the big, dumb hat,
the one who falls in love with a hooker
who hooks your heart.

Maybe she was kind and smiled
when he handed her the cash;
maybe she kissed him, told him her real name.

She likes him, he knows she likes him.
He wants to send her a love letter
but he cannot read or write.

We meet him, the simple man, in the woods
with Frank James, Charles Ford, and Dick Liddle—
Dick, the book-learned one, propped against a tree,

maybe a dime novel about Jesse and the gang,
but his brow looks wrinkled in a way
as if he’s reading something pretty.

Would you help me write her a love letter?
the simple man asks. Poetry,
Dick Liddle replies, don’t work with whores.

Flowers don’t neither.

At the end, the simple man in the big, dumb hat
walks his horse on a cold, starry night,
his killer’s gun hot on his back.

He doesn’t run. He dies for a betrayal
he cannot understand, his eyes
on a moon with a face forgiving as that girl.

—Reprinted here with author’s permission from her chapbook, Night School (Finishing Line Press, 2015)


Moon Morning

At sunrise the full moon
Lights the wrong

I watched a cable program
About a dying girl growing two skeletons
Who is happy washing dishes.

The kitchen radio hums La Boheme,
Not headlines. The dog sleeps in the thin sun.
Weather will move in tonight.

I am new to this efficient cold,
A recent arrival from a seasonless coast,
New to such a brilliant, misplaced moon,

Brown chamisa, ash-gray cottonwoods,
Bare branches smokey with flocks
Of crows and starlings,

New to the soundless snow
Weather, the hours slowing within me,
Strong as building bone.


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Georgia Jones-Davis

is a former journalist and newspaper editor who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work appears in various publications including Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Brevity, Nebo, Eclipse, Poets Against War [Canada], and South Bank Poetry London. A former board member of the San Fernando Valley Contemporary Poets, she is the author of two chapbooks, Blue Poodle (2011) and Night School (2015), both published by Finishing Line Press.

“...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