Mud Pie Underworld

by Maureen Alsop

In a blue Parkay margarine dish
with teaspoon, I stirs
hosewater, pine needle, two earth clutches
& seven white pebbles,
like her eggshell teeth. Pour paddy-cake elixir
& conjugations over hers
blameless body. Stuff her torso

with moss, her plastic bones smelling of crocus,
I burries her headless. Orpheus
stumbles through my lilac crawlspace serenading
ghostly wind.

Mama sez when that dog slipped up unders
her on icy gravel her heartbeat shifted
one-thousand degrees & sunk
a corona-halo ‘bove her arch-ankle. Heartbeat
(mine) heard her crack cry LOUD
like Orpheus when he’s locked away
from ma’s ailin’ ruckus. Orpheus gifts me

woodly things I hate: dead
always: canada geese wrung
throat-less, gnawed robin-beak, shit
all over the yard— but his sandy hair, soft
temper beg me’s and in summers I leap
his old grass-peed patches. Orpheus

digs for dolly now
in the spot I lay her. Silly-fool-
dog all mud
on his gums and creek-scum tummy. I grrrrs
at him. He don’t cares. He wanna
eat the rest o’ her. He run off
with ‘er for Pelorus woods drops

my dirt-stews in slippery slippery
circles. Alone now—
on my own: Miss Lonely Sugar— I close in me
a strange wicked sleep & sprawl peony petals
o’er my dogged eyes.