Marla Maples, Stepmother September 1865, by Nathaniel G. Moore

I was seventeen, newly widowed
when I first put a family of pheasants
to bed, in a deep silk linen crib,
damp with talcum.

Reliving so much death the country tallied,
we attended in total 3,977 funerals.
In those days, ‘GROCERY CLERK’
had been my eminent title.

At the civic centre, three months after
The Civil War gravy had all but dried up,
I left your stepmother crying softly, my
elbows covered in soot, riding away
by carriage as she faded slowly and scale
amongst the bologna.