AT PLAY IN THE EARTH OF UNCLE JIMMY'S GRAVE
Hiding and seeking among stones,
I disgrace the family again,
ears bearing the same dirt
his smelly old child-hugging flesh will wear
and, though forgiven by God's
congregation's latest widow and led
among inheritors' politeness naughtier than my sobs,
once more I'm left behind.
Ralph Salisbury's honors include a Rockefeller Bellagio Award, a Northwest Review Poetry Award, a Chapelbrook Award, and three Fulbright fellowships. He is the author of ten books of poetry and three books of short fiction. His poems have appeared widely in periodicals, including Carolina Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, New Letters, New Yorker, Poetry, and Southwest Review.