Poetry of Kansas

Vernacular

August's hot breath distressed the curtains,
made me wander to the old woman
who smelled of peppermint, worked
in her basement next to a fan with rubber blades.
From her bushel basket that once held fall's apples,
she unfurled a damp shirt cylinder.
First the, collar.  Then the sleeves and yoke, she said.
 
A bowl of tepid water waited
for sprinkles on cotton soon dried.
She shared stories of summers too frigid to swim,
others when winds drove sand through walls.
She paused, peered past her work
to stored jelly jars, one marbled
by a spider crocheting its web. Told me,
It's easier to iron the wrinkles in than to iron them out.

Myrne Roe, Wichita
(KWA. 2004)

 
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May 28, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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