I jogged the shoulder of a service road
in Hattiesburg steaming summer

stopped short to collect empty cigarette packs
printed on the side five Marlboro miles

that I would rip off and stuff in my sock—
sometimes on good days I’d get close to fifty

miles from drivers who'd roll their windows
down and toss their empty trash—

like plucking pennies from a fountain

saving ten thousand
for an argyle Dopp kit from Philip Morris

that has endured many, many more miles
across states and overseas.

     

Newborn Son

See, I am sending an angel ahead of you
to guard you along the way . . .

                            Exodus 23:20

Not that you need one
for your mother covers these southern shores

in case I slip, this card under
your door, Michael will do

especially in these infant, toddler years
though listen to your father

I'm geared for adolescence
and will tackle puberty, your teens . . .

always though there will be Michael
like music—that jazz through speakers

as school days offer Spring break
then summer breeze in early May—

largemouth bass lurk beneath
lily pads—alligators sun on the bank.

Beau Boudreaux teaches English in Continuing Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. His first book collection of poetry, RUNNING RED, RUNNING REDDER, was published in the spring of 2012 by Cherry Grove Collections. He has published poetry in journals including Antioch Review and Cream City Review, also in anthologies along with The Southern Poetry Anthology.