Shabby Truths

Artist: Anna Valdez

Here’s a poem from my book Vexed Questions:


The shabby furniture belies its joy,
the wrinkled steel of shabby venetian blinds,
 shabby toy left in the corner’s dust,
 shabby try at reconciliation,
 shabby attempt at concealment,
 shabby sweater vulnerable to drafts,
life in the shabby lane, where all is frayed
and everyone’s afraid, a frayed remains,
a shabby, ratty scarf.

Shabby first drafts, littering the floor,
shabby tabby, too sick to preen,
gravy, shabby Navvie
Gunny, runny, tattered, blunt,
shag haircut so attractive in my youth,
shabby scorn scores a cutting hit,
scored cores
litter the hard yard
of dry garden.

Theory breaks into
Thee or me,
God or three or okra,
ore or our hour.
Shabby curse: Go float a kite on a cliff of desire
on a brook where blackberries
strangle the bank.

Shabby truths:
The throat can kiss the sharpest word.
The eye can bruise the coolest arm.
The word can cling like soft brown mud.
The ice can hug the window sill.
The clouds can swing the stars away.

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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