by Lois Marie Harrod
And this my mother shifted, and this
let drop, this forced
into the drawer where she might find it:
you never know what you will need,
the useless, the screwed,
slap-dashed and staring . . .
clattering dump of gray plates
beneath the splash, forgotten saucers . . .
might come in handy.
So we slit the cardboard boxes,
we move the plastic crates
her long fingers no longer touch,
long ears hang until the pitcher breaks.
Ninety-seven years listening
to the muddled ash lying to come clean.
Thirst. Water. Single file at the fountain.
When we got too close, teeth clocked
nickel. Quick. Barely a swallow.
Turn it off, the hollow closes
over the mouth, the witch follows,
old oak slam shut,
that’s how things are locked,
hearts twisted among the tumblers.
Hopewell resident Lois Marie Harrod has often appeared in the Kelsey Review. Her most recent collection is a chapbook And She Took the Heart (Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, 2016). Her 13th and 14th poetry collections, Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. The Only Is won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays), and Brief Term, a collection of poems about teachers and teaching was published by Black Buzzard Press, 2011 She is widely published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. See www.loismarieharrod.org.