Samsonite Sonnets

 

Your last day in Mississippi you threw 

the red dishes out the door, frames without 

pictures, candlesticks, hand mirrors and soap 

dishes, lifeless computer monitors 

from 1995, the ocean green 

martini glasses your second cousin 

gave you after her divorce, pirate ships 

in bottles, moon rocks and pressed flowers, fish 

bowls and Venetian Christmas ornaments, 

anything that would shatter or scatter 

like visions of  your mother at the sink 

with a coconut, breaking it open 

to let  milk and fruit, like white grains of sand, 

spill through her fingers and into the bowl 

 

to make a sweet, perfect cake, and you wept

like a willow tree at every shard 

glittering beneath the hard summer sun, 

neighbors circling like ravens, dark sirens 

in the distance, you filled a plastic cup 

with rum and closed the front door behind you, 

buried the key beneath dead petunias 

and drove north to cornfields and new rivers 

and a furnace that would smoke that winter, 

waking you from the old dream, your mother 

in her burial dress, face painted like 

it never was in life, pale pink lipstick, 

she dropped your suitcase at the crossroads, cracked 

blue, and heavy as a tired baby.

Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently plotting her escape from "the gateway to the West" to the city that Rolling Stone Magazine once crowned "the freak capital of the United States." Her poems have been published in numerous journals and nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart. She is the author of the chapbook, Morning Walk with Dead Possum, Breakfast and Parallel Universe, published by Animal Heart Press. She is also Poetry Editor of Gone Lawn.

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