I recently presented a few pieces at a poetry reading for the book that I contributed to. It was at Ken Sanders Rare Books in SLC, which according to my sister smells "like dusty old men." I'm pretty sure she meant to say books, but I told her anyway that I loved the smell of dusty old men because it's full of wisdom and goodness. I tried out a new poem for the crowd there and wanted to share it with all y'all:
Her Growing Sorrow
By Laura Nielson Baxter
When her sorrow arrives in a box
she decides that she doesn't like
the way it looks on her.
She knows nothing about how big it will get.
So she puts it on once
just to say she's worn it
then forgets about it for a while.
She sits on her porch
watching cheery people
and trying not to enjoy too much
the sorrow she's wrapped herself in.
But it's heavy and warm, smells so fresh
that it's hard not to like it
at least a little.
She sits alone on the couch
that once was her daddy's
fingers stitching fast but mind
She thinks on her sorrow
neatly folded in the closet
and gets it out to wear.
She talks at the phone
but can't listen anymore
because her sorrow's grown and
keeps getting in the way.
So she just talks on and finds it hard
not to talk about how big
her sorrow's getting.
She decides it's easier
to wear her sorrow all the time
than pull it out only
when she needs it.
So she wears her big sorrow
sitting, watching, stitching, talking,
all tangled up.
While we were enjoying some other fancy poems by other authors, my sister and I co-drew this wee little sketch of Ken Sanders himself, a person I imagine is the best of dusty old men.