Preserves

By Stephen Yenser Stephen Yenser
Nervy, sparrow-like,
Eyes Cherokee,
Blackberry black,
Arrow-quick,
Picky eater,
Lean in spirit,
Converted Quaker,
She taught her grandson
Arithmetic
And checkers tactics
And let him touch
Through her cotton nightie
Small, tense nipples.
Her hands, arthritic,
Knitted doilies,
Breaded tomatoes,
And put up apples,
While the hoarded guilts
Made for bright quilts,
The torrid migraines’
Counterpanes.

Source: Poetry (May 2011).

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This poem originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2011
 Stephen  Yenser

Biography

Editor, critic, professor, and poet Stephen Yenser is the author of the poetry collections Blue Guide (2006) and The Fire in All Things (1993). A winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, he has also received an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in Poetry and the Bernard F. Connors Prize for Poetry from the Paris Review.
 
Yenser’s poems range in setting from L.A. to Greece and reveal his literary acumen . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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