Three Poems by Cheney Crow

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

What a Man Yelled from a Passing Car

A lovers’ walk, Sunday morning,
brunch on the East Side, rough in this town,
chic, an almost “slumming.”

He dyed my hair himself, liked it red.
And the skirt short. He rubbed my hip
to check there were no panties.

My shoes tipped the sidewalk, red
lit my cheeks when the car slowed
and a man’s face leaned out, showed tongue
as he yelled – the last two words louder –
I want some of that hot pussy!

White with rage, my lover
held me close, hurled his voice,
What’d you do to make him say that?

Domestic Causality

He gets wild
if I don't act right.

Tonight he begged, even cried,
Baby, don't make me hurt you.

My head hit, then he's shouting,
Look what you made me do!
So loud, my neighbor
got scared.

But I'm fine, like he said —
it wasn't me that called;
there's no problem here.

When my neighbor asked
I told her:
We just know how,
not why.


Takes Two

He stumbled in, bruised
on the forehead by the steering wheel.

Drunk. He’d rammed a parked car,
wrecked it, sped away,  

Hid his limping car behind my fence,
Promised change.

Because we were together,
people stopped telling us apart.

They said he was a mean drunk.
Oh, but he was sweet.

I believed the good in him
would win if I tried, but he didn’t

choose good, or want me
enough, till he did, over

and over. I rolled.
Like a dog.

Cheney Pic.jpg

Cheney Crow lives in Austin, Texas. Her first publication appears in The Cortland Review, Issue 65. She has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, a PhD in Applied Linguistics and, after many years of teaching and community involvement, an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She will lead a workshop at the Austin Feminist Poetry Festival in September 2014.