Saturday, December 2, 2023

MendoLit: ‘When Her Bones Were Found Your Grief was Uncontainable’— An Untitled Poem by Rose Brown

Native dancers at a ceremony honoring a mural in Ukiah that depicts missing and suspected to be murdered Round Valley woman Khadijah Britton [Picture taken by Matt LaFever]

For our first installment of MendoLit, we’re featuring an untitled, free verse poem by Rose Brown found in her collection entitled “A Briefcase Full of Feathers”:

when her bones were found

your grief was uncontainable

in the middle of the highway

you stood with the assault rifle

singing crying

the CHP knew enough to pass you by

when your friend exchanged your drum for the gun

you were truly armed

Brown told us this piece is about a man named Smilee who lived in Laytonville. While living there, he searched for his missing niece. When Smilee’s niece was found dead along the highway, Brown told us a silver necklace made by Smilee helped identify her remains.

Brown is from New Jersey and has lived in Laytonville since 1984. Brown prints her poetry collection independently, using a thread and needle to bind, and sells them at local craft fairs. She said she will be at MendocinoProducers Guild market in Laytonville on April 23 for anyone that is interested in meeting her and purchasing a copy of her collection.

Call for Submissions

The ethos of Mendocino County, its grit and beauty and history, is often lost in the stodgy language of newspeak.

To capture the essence of our vast vistas, MendoFever will be featuring a new section we’re calling “MendoLit” that will showcase poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and vignettes that put to words that hard to pin down feeling we call home.

We invite all writers, of all ages, of all genres, to submit their work to us at matthewplafever@gmail.com. Please include your name, your piece, preferably an image that relates to your piece, and maybe a description of your creative process.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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