Tag Archives: great story

Fix it, Pah-Pah

This poem contains a great story, one step at a time. Following along, we learn a lot about who Pah-Pah is, but all the remaining questions I had weren’t answered. For one, what did Pah-Pah do to fix Garner Lee? An additional thing that adds interest is that the poet is a woman.

Fix it, Pah-Pah                                                            Van Potter

Next door, Garner Lee, the deputy sheriff,

again had beaten Doll, his wife – my nursemaid,

who fried my bacon just right

and took me to pick blackberries in the woods.

Pah-Pah, your loaded shotgun

was where a five-year-old could reach it:

on the floor, between the wall

and the cherry oak headboard you carved.

So I dragged it out

by the trigger, snuggled it under my arm

and pulled it past the rocking chair that you’d made for me

and out the door and down

the 10 new, wooden steps you’d put up. I bounced

the butt until I reached the moist back yard.

I strained with it past my bike,

that, after your paint job, shined

red even in the shade of the giant mulberry tree.

At first you didn’t see

me as you loomed under the wooden shelter

behind Chicken Comer’s

where you barbecued boneless pork butts over a deep pit,

stirred up your special sauce

and got ready for your customers.

I grunted as I lifted the shotgun

to you: “Pah-Pah, shoot

Garner Lee!” and I repeated Doll’s cry, “I’m tired

of his damn shit!” You snatched

up the shotgun. When I saw it two days later,

it was locked behind the glass door

of the wooden case you’d built high

on the wall over the mantel.

The bullets were boxed and at the back

of the top shelf of the china cabinet.

That same day, Garner Lee drove off with

his suitcases, and Doll made me

a blackberry pie.