Preserves

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.


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