A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
I always loved my aunt’s pantry:
The mingled scents of spices,
Flour, sugar, crackers.
The rows of cans and jars
In order: pickled things, beans, mincemeat.
It was a holiday, I think.
Or maybe just a Sunday when we visited.
I know I was back in my bunk
Above Karin Nelson
At school that night.
Everyone was in the living room.
I was always wandering off: something
Always drew me, the windows, the cat.
I’m stalling, I don’t want to tell you
How everything changed.
How my uncle came in,
Murmuring innocuously about crackers
And tracing circles on my back
With his fingers.
Closer and yet closer until
I could feel his quickening breath
Upon my ear.
I was frozen staring at the turkey
On the box of Bell’s Seasoning.
I still cannot see one without
Thinking of that moment. He pressed
The lower regions of his body
Against the lower regions of mine.
It took everything, every bit of strength I had,
To say, The others will be missing us.
He turned on his heel and left.
Copyright 2019 Elizabeth Romero