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Two Poems

Haibun with Trump Flag

Eve got a lot of property, huge garden, once she left Adam, moved out into the country, away from private trees, long lists of rules. She planted an apple orchard, fields of wheat, an orange grove, tossed seeds willy-nilly, so wildflowers would carpet her path. Bare feet and breasts, finally, freedom. The neighbor seemed friendly when she introduced herself, shook his hand, explained her plans for the land, how she wanted to bring barren fields to life, how her grandchildren would visit in summer, help with the harvest. He nodded silently, sunburned face an almost smile, and sometimes his wife dropped by for a chat on her way into town. 

Eve watched the man dig, pour cement, stabilize the silver rod that stands taller than his rooftop. What is she supposed to do about this blue monstrosity billowing across her view of the sunrise? She calls her son. He says to have her morning coffee on another acre. Practical boy, he says she could rest her weary limbs in the branches of elm, oak, or cedar, but she doesn’t want to move away from the apple trees. 

Eve remembers that damn snake and letting Adam hand her his blame, even though he’d stood not five feet from the living tree, the forbidden tree, and watched her choices silently. She should have fought that angel, evicting them with a sword of flame. She twists her thick hair into a tight knot and raises her chin, her hands fists, her hips pendulum swinging a mighty sway, making ocean waves as she winds her way to the neighbor’s naked yard. The man grows nothing, his wife often borrowing sugar, fruit, flour, from Eve’s pantry. When he wakes up to make his coffee and turns his eyes to watch the sun rise, the bright orange in the sky, will be something closer than celestial. 

a gaslit flagpole,
reforged woman silhouette
truth’s a flaming sword


Slightly Heretical Pastor’s Wife

I dreamed he was offered a position as pastor of Good
Poem Baptist Church. He accepted and we moved
to Florida, but also Kentucky. Cheerleaders on the interstate

wore blue and white uniforms. We lived in a parsonage of stone,
moss covered. The front door opened into a solemn
sanctuary. Beige walls, thin carpet, cross large enough to crucify

nine Jesuses. Elders of the congregation held
a meeting, invited me, announced with megaphone that I
was inappropriate, not the kind of wife my husband

needed. They referenced my writing, my God-sized
doubts about their theology, how I questioned everything, how
I sometimes said fuck, drank red wine outside of eucharist, smoked

a Delta 8 with Moriah that one time in Philly. They wore
their dour man masks, the women too, their Bible belts tight to hold
in who they could be, if they were free as me. Awake,

my husband would not stand for this to be, but asleep, it was only
dream me in my dream fear of my dream inadequacy, and the deacon
in the bad toupee and seer sucker southern suit shook his holy

book and jeered. That’s when I drove – got sent –
away and only turned to flip the bird at my nightmare’s
Pharisees. As they vanished in my rearview, I saw

the cheerleaders up ahead. Their pompoms sparkled
silver in the sun against the asphalt of my new path. They kicked
legs high, smiled huge, shouts synchronized in hallelujah.

Heather Truett holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Memphis and is a PhD candidate in fiction at FSU. She is a slightly heretical pastor’s wife and the mother of two adult sons. Her debut novel, Kiss and Repeat, was released from Macmillan in 2021. You can find out more at heathertruett.com.