Three Poems by Michael Derrick Hudson

Michael Derrick Hudson

Michael Derrick Hudson

Michael Derrick Hudson lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he works for the Allen County Public Library in the Genealogy Center. Five of his poems were recently named co-winner of the 2014 Manchester Poetry Prize, which was founded by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. His poems have appeared in various journals, including Poetry (March 2015), Boulevard, Columbia, Fugue, Georgia Review, Gulf Coast, New Letters, and West Branch. Over the past few years his poems have won The Madison Review 2009 Phyllis Smart Young Prize, River Styx 2009 International Poetry Contest, and the 2010 and 2013 New Ohio Review contests.

Baby Zach and the Winter Squash

It’s his favorite food, she told me, but I have no idea

what it is. Me neither, but it sounds very nutritious
and wholesome in an apocryphal

First Thanksgiving way:  The Legend of Squanto’s

Delicious Squash and how he had to beg a starving
bluejawed Pilgrim to try it, scowling

while he masticated with theological rectitude and
pigheaded paranoia despite the evidence

of toothless old women and dozens of drooling,

happy babies gumming down the stuff with gusto
in the prosperous Wampanoag village

slightly hazy from the cooking fires where baskets

bulged with corn and blueberries and raccoon pelts
hung everywhere until finally

the trespassing homespun homicidal grouch
proclaimed:  Indeed, ’tis a wholesome victual and

added it to the available proof of God’s preferment.

Dreams of the Kid from High School with the Weird-Shaped Head

I barely remember him scuttling the cafeteria’s blah-tan walls,
another centipede seeking the impossibility

of a No-Kill zone. Now he dreams dreams of medieval

reckonings:  Attila the Hun in a rat-fur cape
down by the crossroads raving at Varsity Football corpses  

under fistfuls of wheeling, squeaking bats. The nights reek

of scorched algebra. Witches jibber-jabber over cauldrons
simmering with sophomore thumbs & kidney

of Assistant Principal. Scourged & bawling, what’s left of
the Math Department gets dragged to the gibbet

while a catapult splats Valedictorians  
against the gymnasium wall. Watching helplessly in chains,

the Cheerleading Squad sprawls out on a pyramid of bones,
a seraglio of faux-barbarian sleaze, gold-

spangled with greasy décolletage, glazed
with lust for Juggernaut, for blood-flecked Omnipotence...

Pull down the stadium!  Melt those trophies into scimitars!

Yes, yes, the Dean of Boys must die. Sure, I get it. We all
get it, down here in the Dungeon for Clowns,

cowering with the other third-rate villains, the nothing-if-
not-harmless gang, munching on centipedes

awaiting the rack, the screw & the rest of his gobbledygoo.