Cleoparton

 

Not all eyes are on Dolly

when ten muscle-bound men in gold

loincloths carry her litter with asp arm

 

rests through Dollywood. White linen

with a jeweled shawl and ochre stenciled in

diamond bites on her cheek draw card

riffle shutter clicks. A fan of blue

 

ostrich feathers commands her gleaming men

move faster. Halfway out the exit gate

a boy squeezes in, hand up, and Dolly leans

 

down, beads in her straight Egyptian

hair swinging, for a quick, careful palm press.

*"Cleoparton" was first published in The Broad River Review and in Powers's full-length poetry collection, The Follower's Tale.

Stephen Roger Powers

Pronouns: He/His

1 Poem

Cleoparton*

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Stephen Roger Powers (he/his) is the author of three poetry collections published by Salmon Poetry and Highway Speed, a collection of short stories. Other work has appeared in 32 Poems, Shenandoah, The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: Georgia, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems. He was an extra in Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, and he can be seen if you know just where to look.

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