Heritage: Kobiety- Timothy Tarkelly


I don’t know the women,

but I picture them strong.

Their names are echoes

of patron saints,

or famous travelers;

the heroines of cabbage eating people.

The men, though:

Vladislav, Vostok,



They saw men

on wood and linoleum stages.

They saw themselves

pulled by an aluminum bridle.

Men need nourishment,

even before the sun can shake its disapproval.

Electric veins course until lunch time.

Refill! Beer run!


under the gut and ready to burn

at a moment’s notice.


Time cards:

the analog tick of sore bodies

and shameful performance.

“Refill!” “Set them free!”

Off to feel the gentle ease

of tension being replaced

with expectation.

Which echo will they hear after dinner?


or the nymph?


Musical interludes

of sweat and fun abroad

delay the inevitable.

The day isn’t over

until vibrato folds to chemistry,
wife and babe feel the result,

and grow the bruises to prove it.


The drive —

we’ll call it work ethic —

to do it all again,

in spite of sorrow and having anything better to do,

is something to be admired

in a cutesie, but dark denial-laden fashion.


I guess I’m doing okay.


Image courtesy of Pinterest

Timothy Tarkelly has had poetry featured by Paragon Journal, GNU, Whisper and the Roar, Haunted Waters Press, Cadaverous Magazine, Poets & War, Cauldron Anthology, Lycan Valley Press, Fourth & Sycamore, and Aphelion. When he is not writing, he works for a non-profit that serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence in western Kansas.

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