Two Poems by January Pearson

Dad’s Skoal Can

He’d pop off
the top and tuck
a small mound under
his lip, then slip the tin
into his pocket. Sweet 
bitterness like burnt sugar, 
an aroma worn into his VW
bug, his calloused hands, 
clean cotton shirts. At night,
I’d see his jeans crumpled
on the floor, imprint
weathered into the denim,
the way some impressions
form outlines of the past,
only kinder, old cloth
fading and lightening,
stitched threads
pressed in a circle,


Song of the Opossum

Darkness calls me
from my hollow,

smell of rind & bone
spills from your delicious

trash. You rarely catch me
feasting behind the roses,

hear my claws scratch
your rooftop, tail rustling

your garden beds.

Behind glass walls,
your lives are frenzy

& obligation,
shirts tight around

your necks, children
hammering fist to table

wailing for more.

My eyes gleam
while I stroll along

your moonlit fence,
pluck the ripe sweetness

of meat from a nest,
loll in the balmy

June grass,
belly full.

January Pearson lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She teaches in the English department at Purdue Global University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, Atlanta Review, Third Wednesday, Gargoyle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, American Journal of Poetry, Gravel, and Summerset Review.