Browning

By JACOB SCHEPERS

 

A handmade dress passed down

from your mother finds space

in the cedar chest at the foot

of the bed. The chest, a relic

of your father’s, bore a new

scratch from your daughter

and her tin cup, a totem

bought secondhand from a tinker

scraping by as best as tinkers can

these days. Your daughter took

a liking to the thing, showing early

signs of rust or at least a stain

of tomato soup from a hurried

washing, as if the tomato soup

would cleanse itself regardless

of the tinker’s careless hands,

his off-brand soap,

the hard water straight

from the tap. This water, hard

as it is, was the same water once

watering the now-cleared cedars

used to form that chinked chest,

the same woods where a woman

once lay in a new dress waiting

for the rain to come

and brown the white silk

Jacob Schepers’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Verse, PANK, The Fiddleback, and REAL, among others. 

Photo by author

Browning

Related Posts

Opaletk wafer intricately depicting Mary and Jesus

Opłatek

JANNETT MATUSIAK
My mother breaks the card-sized wafer embossed with the nativity into fragments and wedges one into my father’s still hand, placing it on his chest. We each take our own piece to offer and receive from each other. My father’s voice is at a whisper as we all lean down to kiss his cheek.

Child on wooded path

Ice Cave, Late March

AURORA SHIMSHAK
I create an occasion for my grandmother. I don’t call it anything, but it’s an occasion nonetheless. For the occasion we travel in her car to the park she shared with me when I was small.

Image of Statue

Statue

LISA WILLIAMSON ROSENBERG
As a little Black girl, you have not asked this question. The thing you think most about this statue outside the American Museum of Natural History is that there are never fewer than three pigeons roosting on it. There is always one on the highest spot.