Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000 Columbus Museum of Art
courtesy of Tess Kincaid for Magpie Tales
late afternoon 
in the heat rusted
old testament backyard
of the unwanted
a fallen madonna
clings to her god, her son
she says he watches
the trains in amazement
he is blind
but she solemnly swears 
he counts every red car
as they pass by
he has his father’s eyes
she crows, matter-of-factly
as he nods off, the hills belch
perpetual burnt offerings
scorching the sky paprika
Rene ~ May 2011

37 thoughts on “paprika

  1. Fine writing to a prompt that gave me the old fashioned heebie-jeebies. You've captured some of that here, the underlying menace in a ultra-normal pastoral mother-and-child cliche.Last lines are killer.

  2. The words "madonna" and "blind baby" were ones that struck me when I saw this pictures – but I thought I was being odd in noticing them! I wonder how many other magpies will cotton on to them too? I've not started visiting till now…

  3. "…the hills belchscorching the sky paprikawith perpetual burnt offerings"What an amazingly line in an outstanding write. Your words captured the image perfectly.

  4. The idea of a fallen blind god (angel) that counts every red car (sinner) in a scorching landscape seems pretty much like hell to me. That's my interpretation though. Excellent! 😀

  5. There is so much to this poem to love, and I do love it all. There was a wonderful Hungarian restaurant in Salem, OR, for a few years named Paprikas. I had never heard the Hungarian pronunciation of paprika before and now I cannot see the word without whispering it internally. 🙂

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