in the boxes of their meanings.
Abattoir sounds so nice I
confuse it with boudoir.
Why can’t abattoir mean
read Barbara Cartland paperbacks. No one
believed me because she culled and plucked
chickens, rototilled and cultivated garden
beds, steam pressed sheets, sewed her own
clothes, and cracked her fingers
raising shed walls. The week after her funeral
I dragged a box from her closet.
A pink glow puffed when I pulled the flaps open.
I suppose a boudoir can be an abattoir.
My mother must have thought so too,
because she threw away the books.
and matching bows. They give our dog the air
of a back-cover Barbara Cartland author portrait.
People look at me funny when I walk her.
It brings back a memory though: my grandmother’s lips
moved like wind-ruffled straw while she read.
When I watch The Wizard of Oz I take
a few mental steps back
until the crew, camera, studio doors, and ceiling lights
are in the picture.
reading. I am imagining what
she looked like younger. I am imagining what
she would look like older, wrapped in what
she always wanted, pink chiffon,
fringe, and ruffles, furs, pearls,
and a plumed hat bigger than all that.