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“My Mother Was a Billboard” by Taylor Katz

03 April 2013 on Poetry   Tags:

My mother was a billboard and my father
climbed her. My mother smiled
on the billboard as if spooning her first
kiwi knifed in half. In St. Louis, Missouri,
humidity dresses itself in the drag

of darkness but it’s still man underneath,
still growing hair. My father climbed
my mother’s billboard on the highway,
her hair in the photo curled with an iron
hot enough to burn, though it left her curls

soft and fit to coil around a rolling pin.
There are photos of my father, the smallest
he’s ever been, climbing the poles that held
her suspended. They were married
in a greenhouse in June with pigs

in a blanket on silver trays. My mother’s
hair was curled like in the movies or
on the billboard, whose caption read,
“We got the house!” in a font taller than
my tallest cousin. When they finally secured

the house, I imagine the two of them sped
to the nearest highway and hiked a road
sign skyward and slept there until tiny
people named my name and my sister’s
woke them with an index finger to the ribs.

Taylor Katz lives on 30 acres in Vermont and acts as Assistant Editor at Cooper Dillon, a poetry press out of San Diego. She completed her MFA in poetry at San Diego State University.

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