True Stories by Thomas Alan Holmes
She’s often said she knew that I could read
when I read panel trucks and posted signs,
could recognize the letters and all kinds
of other symbols. I had books to feed
my curiosity at three, but need
to learn more led to other, secret finds,
some blurry magazines with lurid lines
of innuendo (I know now) I freed
from shelves I barely reached or might have found
between a couch’s cushions, magazines
from drug stores where, a teen, I’d later browse
for science fiction paperbacks, the round
rack limited to sentimental scenes
like cheap romances stacked up in my house.
Thomas Alan Holmes, a member of the East Tennessee State University English faculty, lives in Johnson City. Some of his work has appeared in Louisiana Literature, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Appalachian Heritage, and The Connecticut Review, among others. With Daniel Westover, he is currently editing The Fire that Breaks: Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies (Clemson University Press, forthcoming 2018).