Cousin Susie changed her name to Winnipeg by Joe Cottonwood

Cousin Susie changed her name to Winnipeg

back in the crazy Sixties, full name Winnipeg Canada,
don’t ask why, just call her Winnie.
Married a Jamaican fella named Omari,
a steelworker when Bethlehem made steel
before they stole his pension.
Now he fixes cars.
Winnie raises goats in the back yard,
it’s a big yard for Baltimore but people complain.
Sells goat milk to the Greeks and Italians.
Three goats are pregnant.

Omari raised a pig from zero to 425 pounds.
That hog slept under the house, followed them around,
friendly like a dog and really smart.
Omari wanted to do the slaughter himself.
Winnie knew she’d be cleaning up
the blood and refused to allow it
which nearly caused a divorce.
Omari was so mad, he was cussing in Jamaican,
nobody knew exactly what he was saying
until he called the butcher. That’s love.
Winnie didn’t think she could eat it
but she could. That’s survival.

I like to visit. She voted Trump but
wishes she hadn’t. I mean, Canada?
Anybody want a ham sandwich?

by Joe Cottonwood

Editor’s Note: In this poem, narrative is king.

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