POETRY | The God of Knickknacks
Keep your eyes on the mahogany whatnot shelf
where the old couple peddle
their china balloons, dreading the approach
of the housewife with the whiskey breath
and trembling hand that wields her feather duster
or the sticky, reaching hands of her three little girls.
Already the old woman’s white apron is scratched,
her nose is gone as is her basket of uninflated
balloons that used to rest at her feet.
Her dear husband’s chin is nicked, his hat brim
is missing as well as a few of his fingers.
When the lamps are turned off, the shades
pulled down, let the god of knickknacks come
to grant the old couple’s last wish—
to die at the same moment, dashed
to the wooden floor, not just cracked into shards
that can be re-glued, but into dust
of brimless floppy hat, scratched apron,
wizened glazed faces, mingled motes,
weightless as air-filled balloons.
Rochelle Jewel Shapiro’s novel, Miriam the Medium (Simon & Schuster) was nominated for the Harold U. Ribelow Award. Kaylee’s Ghost was finalist in the Indie 2013 Awards. Shapiro’s essays have appeared in NYT (Lives), Newsweek, and more. Her poems have appeared in Iowa Review, Moment, Atlanta Review. She’s a phone psychic who teaches writing at UCLA Extension. http://rochellejewelshapiro.com
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