When My Mother Says Tough Luck


it’s like the rough tongue of

leather in a boot somehow,

the way you dig your
thumb in there when it gets

stuck to curl it out again
against the topside

of your foot and pull it flat
so you can truss it up,

or like the slap of milk
on milk in a metal bucket

carried up the ramp
to be dumped in the bulk-

house tank with the rest,
or the clank of the bucket

handle against the bucket’s
flank once the milk’s

poured out and the bucket’s
done its chore, or like the

prayer of a shucked off pair
of garden gloves cough

softly when they’re chucked
from the hand and land

filthy on the back porch floor.

This poem appears in Tough Luck, Todd’s 3rd poetry collection from W. W. Norton & Co. It was originally published in Terrain.org. (c)2017 Todd Boss, all rights reserved.