Fending by Terri Anastasi
Main Street Rag
Available from the publisher
From a forgotten mill town to the canals of Venice, to drug-addled mothers and a fierce forbidden romance, Terri Anastasi's poems draw on defending the strengths and gifts of her speakers against an onslaught of doubters. There's no guarantee of happy endings, but there's a promise of a genuine, lasting connection with others, and an acceptance of the flaws and finery in each of us.
Terri Anastasi was born in Western Pennsylvania before it became a notch in the Rust Belt. She attended the University of Albuquerque where she was editor of the college literary magazine. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Terri worked as a supply clerk, cashier and bartender, among other jobs. She earned a master’s degree in art psychotherapy, working in mental health until 1995 when she relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, to make a career in child welfare.
Savior in the Steel Mill
I grew up believing
the Lord worked in the mill
alongside my Granpap
and heard His name
sprinkled throughout conversation
like Frank’s RedHot,
my Pap giving Him credit and blame
for every damn thing
from “God bless America, we got a raise!”
to “Christ Almighty, what next?”
Forget about sandals,
I imagined Him wearing steel-toed boots
and a hardhat to cover His halo.
Despite His penchant for wine
I knew He drank coffee from a thermos
and ate salami sandwiches and Twinkies
from a metal lunch bucket just like Pap.
Of course He shared a pinch of snuff
with the fellas in the blast furnace
and waved from the crane
as they bellowed below
“Jesus H Christ, it’s hot as Hades down here!”
He musta smiled to Himself thinking
if they only knew.