June 14, 2024

Pigtown

Edgar Allan Poe’s house
stands in Baltimore
although my family’s brothel
was razed.

Likewise, Cousin Charlotte’s
bootlegger business.
Pay a quarter to see
a blind pig
get a shot of whisky for free.

On a table-sized map
in the city’s archives,
a Maryland historian points
his manicured finger, indicating
to my mother and me, where our family’s
buildings used to be.

She grabs my hand.

The family slum has become
a football stadium.

The Ravens play a mile
from the poet’s grave.
Mascots Edgar, Allan,
and Poe raise
the crowds

but it’s his headstone bought
with schoolchildren’s pennies
that catches sun.

Christine Kalafus

Previously a seamstress for the interior design industry, Christine is an award-winning writer, editor, writing workshop organizer and instructor in northeast Connecticut. Current projects include the 500th revision of her first novel and curating the zine "Get Lit Barbie" launching in May 2023.

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