Fall/Winter 2016



Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

WHAT IíVE STOLEN, WHAT IíVE EARNED

            with thanks to Sherman

A briefcase
lifted out of a Porche
convertible with top
down. Just to prove
I would. Or to punish
the rich guy who left
it there. You decide.

Indian land.
Half of me,
to be honest;
the other half of me
was a victim
of land theft.
Do the two halves
cancel out?

An Almond Joy
from the candy
counter at Norman’s
drug store in my
hometown. Busted
by my mother, made
to apologize and work
it off by sweeping
their floors.

Various office supplies
from various offices
where I was employed:
paper, pens, long
distance calls. My Italian
communist friends call this
proletarian appropriation.
Not theft, but
resistance.

Friends
who mean it
when they ask
how are you.

A reputation.
Or rather,
a series of
reputations,
good, bad,
insane,
depending
on the year.

More than 70%
gray hair at the age
of 50. Earned
every single one,
the hard way.

Writing poet
under occupation
on tax forms
doctor’s office
forms, surveys,
questionnaires.

The love
of a good
man.

 


Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a scholar, poet, and prose writer. Her most recent books areWhat I Learned at the War, a poetry collection (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays (Lamar University Press, 2015). Dr. Mish is Director of The Red Earth Creative Writing MFA at Oklahoma City University where she also serves as advisor to Red Earth Review and as a faculty mentor in writing pedagogy, professional writing, and the craft of poetry.

 


 

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