Welcome to my yard sale. Check out the bargains.
Head for the garage and the 1956 winged Chevy where I tried
to lose my virginity. Shotguns and shells (and the echo
of hushed threats) (husband #1). Half-used cans of spackle
and paint, corroded tools, dated remotes (husband #2).
Deadbolt locks line the card table, locks Mom insisted would keep out
rapists and others up to no good. Bobbipins and hairspray kept
my bouffant rock solid all week. Faded Mass cards, worn rosaries
kept us tethered to hope.
Browse through the racks: Grandma’s housedresses stained
with garlic and red sauce. Wedding gowns stained with Chianti
(the first) and Cabernet (the second). Mom’s gardening ensemble:
powder blue pedal pushers, matching silk blouse stained with dirt
and nicotine. Gray polyester pantsuits, stained with tears, worn
by the aunts at every grief-swollen, guilt-triggered funeral.
The ghost of Mom (still smoking) drops by. She begs me
to leave her alone, find new material. She is followed by a mirage
of aunts (Rosalie, Angelina, Catarina, Marie) rooting for bargains.
They cross themselves, moan about the old days and wonder (aloud)
why I’m still wasting my life writing poetry.
Irene Fick of Lewes, Delaware is the author of The Wild Side of the Window (Main Street Rag) and The Stories We Tell (Broadkill Press). Both chapbooks received first place awards from the National Federation of Press Women. Irene’s poems have been published in such journals as Poet Lore, Gargoyle, Blue Mountain Review and Delmarva Review.