Sunday, November 30, 2008

AGAIN by Kathryn Stripling Byer

I lie down in her sea bed
that bears me back home to the nothing left
after her house burned around it.


Her lavender handkerchief knotted
round nickels and dimes. On her dresser
a brooch in the shape of a peacock's tail.


Organdy curtains that breathed in
and out when she opened the windows
for March to blow through like a lioness


stalking the boxwoods or a lamb bleating
out by the pump house. Her hairpins
sown over the rugs. Her voluminous apron.


Her false teeth that grinned
every night from a tall iced-tea glass,
as she pulled off her house dress,


her shimmy, her bloomers
that even now swell like a mainsail
with nothingness. Lorna Doone shortbread


she nibbled till she fell asleep, leaving crumbs
in the bed sheets like sand from the white beach
at Panama City whenever I crawled into bed


with her body that smelled of ocean
at low tide and tasted of salt
when she pulled me too close to her.

Previously published in The Courtland Review. From COMING TO REST, Louisiana State University Press


Note: "Hallows" tried to slip away before its time, faded like a ghost
and went into the archive. Likewise, this happened to "Scuppernong,"
but all is not lost. Click below labels on Older Post to read "Hallows"
and "Scuppernong" by the Poet of the Month of December,
NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer.

4 comments:

Lynn ... said...

Mom, I'm so glad you posted this poem! I read it a while back and IMMEDIATELY thought of Aunt Lila when she'd spend summers with us! This is truly one of the most "sense" evoking pieces I've ever read ... Now I've got to go Amazon Shopping for a couple of Kathryn Stripling Byer books! *happy face* I love this place!!!!

Love you! Stay warm!

Glenda C. Beall said...

This is one of my favorite poems by Kathryn Byer. Thanks for posting it and writing about her.

Tipper said...

Nice!!

Judy said...

This is an amazing poem. I see why Kathryn Stripling Byer is the NC Poet Laureate. I read her poetry over and over again. I love this poet of the month segment on your blog, Nancy.