THE GINGER WOMAN
P. Donleavy 1926-2017
I like a helluva lot of ginger
in what I eat, whether a heel
of a lover, or a fat baker’s
muffins. And if he farts wind,
well, he might be a spy
or he loves Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
Maybe he’s fond of Ronnie Hawkins
and his Hawks, I don’t care: Ginger
helps me a lot to spy
on all men, it more than heals
me, it’s a trouper when I wind
down from Ginger Baker—
I just strut next door, ask the baker
what kind a spicy tart he’s hawkin’.
Well, look what the damn wind
blew in, it’s the Queen of Ginger,
Ginger herself, he says. Here’s a heel,
honey, it’ll more than perk up your spy-
ing chops. Sure, he knows I spy
on him and all the Parisian bakers,
but he doesn’t say, Bitch, heel!
Instead, he recites Stephen Hawking
and coos sooo softly, Awww, Ginger,
you and I—we could ride the wind
on a flying camel until the damn wind
died. Well, I hint, you could spy
on punters who love ginger
like I do, plus all the bakers
who pretend they’re coughing or hawking
up some old moldy heel
of a bread loaf. He’s not a heel,
my dough boy who loves riding the wind—
unlike all those bastards named Hawkins—
but I have the edge: they don’t know I spy
on them when they visit the Parisian bakers,
pretending I’m taste-testing ginger.
I’m a heel, hell yes, and hell yes, I’m a spy.
I’ll wind you up and wind you down if you’re a baker.
Last name first, first name last? Hawkins, Ginger.
David Spicer has had poems in Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Third Wednesday, Reed Magazine, Santa Clara Review, Chiron Review, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and five chapbooks, the latest of which is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press), released in the Fall of 2017. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books.