Jami Padgett

My mother’s failed flowerbed, her dogs’ graves in the moss-covered grove by the shed.I can’t think of themwillingly;the dogs all diedin Biblical ways: horrific& in passing.Before we sold the house,we gatheredon my mother’s bed.She dug her thumbsinto either sideof my tender spine,wanted to soothe an acheI claimed,she & my brother high.The popsicle wrappershe & I slipped behindthe bread box, strings of antsin the summers;old polaroids in cheap,ripping albums,tucked by clovers & petalsI took from the woodsnot realizing they’d one day dryout. Once, a yard fireexploded, blew my mother forwardfor putting too much gason its piled leaves& made liquidthe skin of her shin.When she washed the trailerwalls, smoke drizzled down themlike basted fat.Wasps dying for their nestin the gutter;how, when a yellow jacket stung meon the way homefrom the bus stop,my mother punched it deadthen looked for itin the gravel.Empties in the shower.The roly-poly I loved so muchI made it a housefrom a Crackerjack box& flushed itwhen it died; the turtle I found& keptbeneath my bedwith a leaf to eat,that my brother threwfrom the bowed backdoor before he saidI was cruel

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Jami Padgett is a queer poet from Ellijay, Georgia, and an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. She serves as poetry editor for The Arkansas International, with work in Booth and Nashville Review.


Nashville, Tennessee

Jess Sumalpong

Poetry Editors
Tandria Fireall
Em Palughi
Alexandria Peterson

Nashville Review was founded with two guiding principles: that our venue would be inclusive of all forms of storytelling, and that it would be both free and available online to anyone who wished to enjoy it. We publish three issues annually: on the 1st of April, August, and December.

NR is edited by the MFA students at Vanderbilt University.

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