Charlie Brice


You hear the cackle and scratch
of chickens on the front path, 
feel the pulpy soft
of poppy petals, gladiolas,
grass like velvet—
the door’s creak that opens
to the musty interior with odors
of bread, cabbage, and comfort.

You yearn for yesterday:
dawn baling or ploughing,
wine and headcheese for lunch,
an afternoon nap, then
a trip to the hardware store
for a new pump handle.

At dinner there’s talk
of the poor bloke killed
when the oak he took down
kicked back on him.
After pie and tea, stories
of your Irish uncles,
their long black beards,
the Troubles, the grenades
they hid in their book bags
before they walked to school.

Charlie Brice is a retired psychoanalyst living in Pittsburgh. His full length poetry collection, Flashcuts Out of Chaos, is published by WordTech Editions (2016) and his second collection, Mnemosyne's Hand (WordTech Editions), will appear in 2018. My poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta ReviewThe Main Street RagChiron ReviewSLABFifth Wednesday JournalPlainsong, and elsewhere.