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

Worn front door

From Sieve: A Preliminary Draft and a Ruin

HILDEGARD HANSEN
There were half-collapsed buildings at the sides of the road, the roof fallen in, stone walls still standing. Sometimes a small footpath and an old stone bridge, long driveways down to a stone house, smoke out the chimney.

Chair against the window

Susan

SARAH DUNPHY-LELII
I visit with a friend as she works to empty her mother’s house, who died just days before Christmas, and each object holds a tiny piece of Susan. I come away with several treasures lovely (a hand knitted scarf, a clay donkey to hold my garlic) and practical.

Mala Beads

MAW SHEIN WIN
When she wakes, I offer water. She sips from the glass. I ask if she needs more pillows behind her head. I look into her eyes and notice that she has deep blue lines that circle her almost black pupils. Why hadn’t I seen that before? I think of the nazars that I bought in Athens fifteen summers ago.