Poems from Black Box

Black Box: Poems by Frank X Walker

Black Box continues the personal and autobiographical journey of Affrilachia with sixty eight new poems from Walker.

Order Black Box from Old Cove Press today.

ISBN 0-9675424-1-3 •� $15.50

To order Black Box, contact:
Old Cove Press
P.O. Box 22886
Lexington, KY 40522
Tel: 859/266-6374 | Fax: 859/268-5405


For Aunt Helen Ewing

Santa couldn’t come
until my fingers and arms ached
from cutting up raisins and walnuts
after carrying blackberry jam
flour, sugar and eggs
wax paper, vanilla
and boxes of Duncan Hines
all the way home
from the A&P, up town

until Rudolph, Frosty
the Grinch, the Little Drummer Boy
and the Nutcracker
had danced across the screen
and the smell of tangerines
and the last jam cake
had over powered
the fresh cut pine in the air

until Aunt Helen put on lipstick
avon perfume
and her good wig
and stood in the screen door, waiting
for the shadowy figures
to drop off toys
and stay, a while

he couldn’t come
until mamma teased me
from my pretend slumber
and sent me tipping through the snow
door to door
armed with screwdrivers
wrenches and extra batteries
in case somebody else’s daddy

View Finder

For William Warner, Sr.

in the photo
only suspenders, a black leather belt
and the shadow under a hat
are darker than your face
a charcoal reservoir for the sun

a hand-rolled filterless cigarette dances
at the edge of your smile
like a ghost
the child cradled at your hip
is wringing her tiny hands
unable to look away to the camera
she is only four
but she recognizes the devil
on your lips

acres and acres of your life
hang from the top rails
inside the tobacco barn
this was supposed to be a victory photo
so you allow yourself the pleasure
of a special blend
savoring the raw strength
of its unknown toxins

next to you
in my father’s arms
my entire hand gripping the expanse
of his thumb
I am fully focused
on the mysterious blinking eye