The current issue of Southern Poetry Review features, as always, memorable poems
by some of our best poets, oftentimes friends of mine. This issue includes several
friends--Janice Townley Moore, Mike Chitwood, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, and Julie Suk.
Today I'm posting Kathryn's "Shine,"with a plug both for her most recent book,
Unaccountable Weather (Press 53). Tomorrow, I will post Julie Suk's poem.
Shine Saturdays as a child I spread newspaper for forthright oxfords, coy high heels, dabbed each scuff and toe with paste, then smoothed, brushed, and buffed, until each pair, restored, stood equal to the world it was to meet, and myself lost in the motion, mindful before I knew the practice, cross-legged in a cove of spare delight, attending, attending, as if the shoes I mended walked their own meditation, my child’s hand slipped toward each sole, held up, inspected, admired until the shine, the shine came true. A dime a pair, repair the wear. Stay against the sadness. And I see him, my father, with his small task to offer, work his conversation, work his steady state. All afternoon at the slow motion of waxing a car with Turtle paste, the circular hum, his way of saying here is the stay, the raw delight, the feel of the task so surely done, it sounds a tuning in your bones.