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Laurie Kolp

The Inheritance

Puerto Vallarta

The Inheritance

My voice, foreign to me
The graying color at my scalp
My mouth drooped like wilted flowers
The frizz in my hair, the strange
buzz in my ears, the secrets:

all for your inheritance
so that when I’m gone,
you will come back from exile
with a better understanding
of the exotic gray fox
and a new appreciation for
oriental lilies
because it has changed
or is about to change
in your life.

I cannot expel your resentful
misperception of the past—
and don’t feel bad because
in retrospect, everyone thinks his
or her childhood could have been better—
I did the best I could with what I had.
You will suddenly realize this
after I am gone, but do not worry.

I will be hidden in the trees
waiting for your awakening.
I will be the shiver down
your spine, the goosebumps.
I will be budding shrubbery,
purple azaleas you think
remarkable. And after
spring’s unexpected freeze,
I will be a million shooting stars
emblazoned in your memory.

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Puerto Vallarta

Arnold Schwarzenegger filmed Predator here,
you say of the place in the jungle
mountainside where white pigs
sleep on dirt roads like cats on porches.

The prop, a leafy helicopter crashed on dirt pad,
stands out like an Oscar atop a mantelpiece.

You act as if you’d shown me pure gold
but all I can focus on are skinny kids

washing clothes in river below,
their laughter calling for reprise.

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Laurie Kolp is an award-winning poet with more than four dozen publications worldwide, including the 2015 Poet’s Market, Concho River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Referential, Pirene’s Fountain, Found Poetry Review, Deep Water Literary Journal and more. Upon the Blue Couch was published by Winter Goose Publishing (2014) and her chapbook, Hello It's Your Mother, was published by Finishing Line Press (2015). Kolp lives in Southeast Texas and mothers six (a husband, three kids and two dogs). She just returned to teaching after a 14-year hiatus.

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