Swordfish

By Andrew Hudgins b. 1951 Andrew Hudgins
My fingertips marveled at the silvery shimmer,
already less silver, less shimmery than when it lived.
I never again should cause flesh this beautiful
to be less beautiful, I thought.
                                                                                    At supper
—swordfish—my brother offered up his neighbor
for conversation. He'd shotgunned every TV
in his house, even the puny black-and-white
on the kitchen counter. Buckshot shattered black
granite and splintered yards of Golden Oak.

It wasn't election time or football season.
Maybe his kids had watched Debbie do Dallas.
In the unexpected hush as we considered
slaughtered appliances, my brother's drinking buddy
told my girlfriend she was a pretty lady,
a real pretty lady. She looked like a dream.
One day she'd make a real man really happy.
I barked three hard flat laughs. The lit friend winced
as each blast turned his cheeks a richer red.
My girlfriend closed her eyes and opened them,
her azure eyelids shimmering with jade.

Source: Poetry (March 2007).

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2007
 Andrew  Hudgins

Biography

Poet Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas, in 1951. The eldest son in a military family, Hudgins moved around the American South for much of his childhood, eventually attending Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1983. His poetry is known for its dark humor, formal control, and adept handling of voice. Hudgins’s first book, Saints and Strangers (1986), was . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Animals, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Eating & Drinking, Relationships, Home Life, Nature, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse

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