Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The old sweater inherited from a poet

years after the Iowa City snow piled
so high that a step off the porch
was a slow-motion fall
collapsing inwardly
under glimmering light of streetlamps
by the park

brown of teddy bears and
large, enfolding, practically bear-pawed,
a sweater that wore stories up and down its sleeves,
that dreamed poems while folded in the drawer
and recited them to the rhythms of the dryer,
momentarily forgotten
in the dark undershadows of a table
slicked with pizza grease
in the grey rain of Portland

found by someone else
and the only question is
will they find poems in their dreams, too?


Blogger rdl said...

what a sweet poem.

1/04/2006 2:54 PM  
Blogger zhoen said...

I always assume my loved and lost items have found new life with new loves. Makes me feel better.

1/04/2006 3:39 PM  
Blogger Frankie said...

I love the image of the sweater that wore stories up and down its sleeves....Wonderful. I love imagining the stories behind my clothes, especially thrift store finds. Gorgeous poem, as always.

1/04/2006 3:48 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Your poem, that sweater so exquisitely sensitive and woven with memories that I'd like to find it's poetry hanging in my cupboard and unfolding into my heart when I pull it on! Couldn't I just find it at a local store, "Courage My Love..."

1/04/2006 4:50 PM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Oh moose, I want that sweater! There have been absolutely no poems folded in my sleeves lately. But that's okay. Whenever I need to read one that makes my spine tingle, I head for bluebird country.

1/04/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger _Soulless_ said...

The novelty of this piece is overwhelming. I am most impressed, swept away, by how you've depicted and personified the "sweater" in the second stanza. ^_^

And, might I add, I adored these lines:

a step off the porch
was a slow-motion fall
collapsing inwardly

1/05/2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

there could be no better start to my day than your poetry, moose. it made my heart swoon and leap with joy at the same time. thank you, thank you! - snowsparkle

1/05/2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger leslee said...

Oh wonderful. I love the teddy bear likeness, and that it "wore stories up and down its sleeves" and recited poems "to the rhythms of the dryer".

1/05/2006 9:45 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Thank you, rdl, I appreciate your visits!

Zhoen, that's a lovely and generous assumption. I will practice that thought.

Frankie, thrift store finds are the best. They make some people uncomfortable, precisely because of their past lives, but like old houses, they have character — and the tales they could tell!

Brenda, wouldn't that be wonderful? To open one's cupboard and find it replenished with poetry? Can't you persuade Courage My Love to imbue their stock with poetry? Some poetry sachets, perhaps?

Patry — I want it back! But it's long gone. Can you imagine two such sweaters in the same room, rubbing elbows? It's a little like how I feel about having discovered you.

Soulless, welcome! Thank you for reading. I'm pleased you enjoyed the poem. I'll have to check out your blog.

Snowsparkle, oh my! Thank you for the compliment. I'm happy and grateful that you like coming here.

Leslee, yes, this has a slightly childlike, fanciful flavor that started with the sense of teddy bearness. It really did feel like wearing an old, beloved teddy bear. Strange to still miss it after all these years.

1/05/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I think this is just beautiful, it's a poem that hugs you and speaks on several different levels, I will read this over and over I think

1/05/2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

So that's who owned my sweater before! I wondered where all the stories came from.

At Rocco's pizza, right catty-corner from Powell's, right?

-- no, I'm just kidding. But such a wonderful poem! (Let me know next time you're in Portland, and we'll prowl around till we find a lost sweater for you)

1/06/2006 6:41 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Sue, I like the thought of a poem hugging! It's very much in the spirit of this poem.

Dale, it's actually crossed my mind before that you might have it. The notion of prowling around Portland looking for lost sweaters made me laugh. I'd do it with you.

1/06/2006 7:59 AM  

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