Anima mea turbata est.

She wrote the American Novel three times
then had the nerve to give it up,
but by god she’s a writer discovered
by herself, then by the New York Times.

There’s even two photographs—in one,
knees showing; in the other big blue eyes,
attractive nose, strong jaw, thin lips,
hair white as a poinsettia by O’Keefe.

She’s 94, has cataracts in both eyes
and hasn’t slept with anyone in years,
but to quote her neighbor, Mr. Vandenburg,*
“a chilly landscape tightens the mind.”

She’d rather quote the Times. She’s a genius,
so she wears a red beret, crosses on green,
and keeps a Christmas tree in her flat
year around, taking one minute at a time.

Let others look for meaning in strict rhyme,
scream at God to give them what they want.
God isn’t listening. He’s between deadlines,
weathering nicely under the Southern Cross.

*Actually, Weldon Kees

George Drew was born in Mississippi and raised there and in New York State,  where he currently lives. He is the author of seven collections, most recently  Pastoral Habits: New & Selected Poems (2016), Down & Dirty (2015) and The View from Jackass Hill (2011, winner of the 2010 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize), all published by Texas Review Press. His eighth collection, Fancy’s Orphan, will be published in 2017 by Tiger Bark Press. His work also has been anthologized, most recently in The Southern Poetry Anthology, II: Mississippi (Texas Review Press, 2010), Down to the Dark River: An Anthology of Poems About the Mississippi River (Louisiana Literature Press, 2015) and The Great American Wise Ass Anthology (Lamar University Literary Press, 2016). George has won several awards, most recently the 2016 Knightville Poetry Contest (The New Guard) and the 2014 St. Petersburg Review poetry contest; he is First Runner Up for the 2017 Editors Choice Award, Chautauqua Literary Journal, and his poem will appear in the fall. In 2010 his collection, American Cool, won that year’s Adirondack Literary Award for best poetry book of 2009. Pastoral Habits, his New and Selected, was nominated by Texas Review Press for the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize, as well as several others. George was a recipient of the Bucks County Muse Award in 2016 for contributions to the Bucks County literary community.