Scout & Birdie
Scout & Birdie

A grandmother of mine,
Six feet tall in flats,
Had old candies and advice
For folk who’d chew the fat.

At her store they’d gather
And never buy a thing;
Her sole employee a drag queen
Who stole rings and other
Oddments we’d never know.
She yelled at him but kept him on.
He was great with customers.

Her farm cats
Were born feral and clawed
Each other ‘til eye-stubs glistened.
Loving them, she fed them scraps.
They had more kittens.

When cancer stopped her
Making fudge, she took
To the day bed
As if holding court.

Cancer or no, all had to know
Her methods for pie crusts
Or tending sick trees,
Where to put deliveries
And how to keep bees.

Her keen eye watched me
Feed the cats, but they moved
Their fighting beneath the front window
As morphine dripped
And sundry folk trooped
In and out
With casseroles.

She beckoned from her deathbed
To calmly inform me:
A tick had rooted
In my neck.

They are a grave danger
In Indiana.


About the artist...

Emily Madapusi Pera is a writer based in Chicago and Providence, RI. Emily has also been featured by Back to Print, Wasted Pages Anthology and Sliced Bread. She derives creative inspiration from varied sources, including the process of baking gluten-free goodies.

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Check out her work from previous issues: