March has come in like a lion, blowing the clouds around like sheets on a clothesline. I call up a poem I wrote about remembering my grandmother again and again, her bloomers that swelled with wind on the clothesline, alongside her nightgowns and bedsheets. Her organdy curtains the wind teased when she opened the windows still bloom in my memory.
I lie down in her sea bed that bears
me back home to the nothing left
after her house burned around it.
Her lavender handkerchief knotted
round nickels and dimes. On her dresser
a brooch in the shape of a peacock’s tail.
Organdy curtains that breathed in
and out when she opened the windows
for March to blow through like a lioness
stalking the boxwoods or a lamb bleating
out by the pump house. Her hairpins
sown over the rugs. Her voluminous apron.
Her false teeth that grinned
every night from a tall iced-tea glass
as she pulled off her house dress,
her shimmy, her bloomers
that even now swell like a mainsail with
nothingness. Lorna Doone shortbread
she nibbled till she fell asleep, leaving crumbs
in the bed sheets like sand from the white beach
at Panama City whenever I crawled into bed
with her body that smelled of the ocean
at low tide and tasted of salt
when she pulled me too close to her.
from COMING TO REST
LSU Press Poetry Series, 2006