They were born in an industrial zone, former bog-land,
where the sand is stained red from all the iron in the air.
Sulfuric stench on the wind and the all-seeing-eye
of the 100-foot torch at the edge of town where day and night
excess gas is let off and burned, dying the sky salmon-pink.
Childhood was lonely, yes. But I won’t dwell here in that suffering.
Growing up, alcohol sales were forbidden on Sundays, so their mom
would drive her hardtop Jeep into Illinois for her twelve-pack
of Bud. She’d spend the rest of the day watching reruns of All My Children
and finding the bottle’s bottom. The Knackers would wait until she
had drunk enough to fall asleep, then slip out the busted back door
and into the scruffy woods at the bottom of the hill, where they’d dig
the Miami soil with sticks, parting the silt loam to gather ochre clay.
WLS is a poet. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University Bloomington. Her first book, Psychogynecology, was published by Monster House Press in 2015. Her work can be found many places, including poets.org and The Portland Review. Other poems about The Knackers can be found in the anthology Undeniable, published by Alternating Currents Press.