A voice stained with black Folgers and Misty cigarettes,
Maw-Maw begins her afternoon sermon
to us, the stale boozed stench high school sophomores,
on the benefits and pitfalls of early promiscuity—
because that is a woman’s world after all.
Granting this wisdom from a pressed-wood kitchen table,
her deep crow’s feet pierce through yellow tarnished glasses
while passing no judgment on us when taking a 120 from her pack
to help settle our last night’s tummies and growing minds.
Imagining the smoke cleanses our witching hour choices in actions,
she informs us about Tom, Dick & Harry, proper throwing up
etiquette while at the neighbor’s house party,
and this year’s Christmas dinner menu.
She imparts nothing new to our ears but brass jokes and dirty tones that
sink into our subconscious and superficially manic hearts, like her presence.
In mocking unison, we spit into our dry palms to snuff out our enchanted drag.


Kristine Slentz is originally from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, or what’s lovingly called “The Region.” She is a Purdue University alum who studied English Literature and Creative Writing. After college, she began working in the digital marketing field to marry her experience in both writing and advertising. She started in search engine optimization (SEO) and soon transitioned into content marketing. During this time, Kristine also wrote pieces for publications like HuffPost, Pattern, and NUVO. Currently, she is earning her MFA in creative writing (poetry) at City College of New York while also being an assistant editor for the online poetry publication Unfold. Her poetry has appeared in Sweater Weather Magazine, The Unprecedented Review, and Flying Island Journal. @KESlentz


(Photo credit: Flickr.)



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