Leveler Poetry Journal
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Mrs. Carty


Old bottles purpled

in sun perch

on the back porch shelf.


She talks of hunting

them in trash pits

near their homestead.


Family headed west,

eighteen-eighties,

grandfather settled


to work the lead-

zinc smelter, hands

trembling, lungs shot.


Husband built her this house

just before Hoover—

they held on.


She’s not leaving.


Crow calls from the backyard,

sun slants through old flasks—

brown, green, claret, clear.


It’s July, rainy season—

a thunderhead rises

over the mountain.




Tony Reevy