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"Matches”
by
Alison Parham

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Patricia Grube

My Head is Turning to a Sieve

My head is turning to a sieve, it may be brass, aluminum or pewter. My choice is granite-ware like Grandma’s baking pans that were covered with light blue and dark gray spots. If I stood on a box near the big black stove where she cooked, I could watch her work. She told me her secrets: knead the bread for fifteen minutes, don’t turn pancakes until all the bubbles have burst, sauté onions before you add them to the stew. Getting back to the sieve full of holes my thoughts are as scattered as if I threw them out into the desert, the high desert, where Grandpa’s cattle grazed. We would go there sometimes in a wooden wagon that bounced along on the rutted road. I always wanted to help gather the Palo Verde wood for the stove that warmed the kitchen. Along the way were remains of bonfires that Grandpa built to burn the thorns from prickly pears, the winter forage for hungry cattle. We would see Jack Rabbits that scattered away faster than I now can gather my thoughts together.

The Dark Forest

I met an old woman who hurried along
saying, Where are the children?
They should be sleeping. I must find
the children and put them to bed.
I patted her hand
            Yes, yes, my dear
            yes, yes, my dear

Then as I walked I met another
who tugged at my elbow, I’ve counted the silver
something is missing. I folded the sheets
and I must count the silver. I must fold the sheets.
I patted her hand
            Yes, yes, my dear
            yes, yes, my dear

The hall was wide where a woman was walking
she looked in my eyes with despair.
Wringing her hands and sighing and saying
He hasn't come back. He went into the forest.
His dinner is waiting. He hasn’t come back.
I patted her hand
            Yes, yes, my dear
            yes, yes, my dear

The hall was long in the dark woods
where I walked to visit my husband.
I peeked in each door and finally
found him listening to a woman
who was singing an aria in a sweet voice
no words just clear full tones.
I patted her hand
            Yes, yes, my dear
            yes, yes, my dear

Their souls seem to meet
at some incomprehensible level
as he looked at her in adoration.
He clapped his hands, she bowed her head.
I kissed him then                                                                    
            Yes, yes, my dear
            yes, yes, my dears

One of Life's Problems

a triangle of silk
or long rectangle
to wrap casually
about the throat
to knot or not to knot
let fly or tie
sedately at the neck
perhaps a turban
on a bad hair day

soft silk tossed
across my shoulders
feels seductive
truth be told, I have
no way with a scarf
although I am intrigued
with possibilities

the designs delight me
I try, I tie, I furl, tuck in, let fly
I play the matador
and laugh then carefully
I fold it neatly and put
it in the drawer

 

PATRICIA GRUBE ­ –was born in the desert of Arizona. Her family moved to California when she was eleven. Her education was interrupted during WWII when she married an Air Force pilot. Years later they moved to Santa Cruz where she fulfilled the promise to herself to return to school, receiving degrees in Sociology and Psychology from UCSC. Layer By Layer is her second book of poetry.  Her plays that have been produced are: Grandpa’s Breakfast, Falling Apples, Found Wanting, Relative Shades and Twilight. Her work seeks to find drama andtranscendence in the lives of ordinary people.

In Celebration of the Muse
Brianna Barreto
Donna Becker
Deborah Bryant
Ruth Elliott
Susan Freeman
Patricia Grube
Diane Dobrin Grunes
Geneffa Popatia Jonker
Sylvia Patience
Jennifer Pittman
Bernice Rendrick
Dena Taylor
Louise Thornton
Patrice Vecchione
Renee Winter
J. Zimmerman

Rosie King for Tilly Shaw

Barbara Bloom for Joan Safajek

Featured Artist
Alison Parham

 

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