Debris, by Luanne Castle
The day after my mother-in-law’s funeral
we collected all the paintings
from her studio and damp basement,
the thank you card from Irving Berlin,
her sketchbook for The Birdland murals
displayed for sixteen days
at the Smithsonian (now
owned by a private collector)
crated them for shipping to California
where we stacked them in rented storage
That’s when I imagined
of all the art
at the Uffizi, the Getty, the Kamakura
And now, I can’t get the image
out of my mind:
dried paint chipping,
the spread of mold pockmarks,
velour paper edges fraying, canvas rips, a gradual
flaking into sand, then dust sifting down
to be layered over by debris
of another generation
always the shifting sand
like a dust storm
This poem first appeared in Luanne Castle's book, Doll God (Aldrich Press, 2015.)
Luanne Castle's Kin Types (Finishing Line Press), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Award. Her first poetry collection, Doll God, winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, was published by Aldrich Press. A Pushcart nominee, she studied at the University of California, Riverside (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in Copper Nickel, TAB, The American Journal of Poetry, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Verse Daily, Broad Street, Lunch Ticket, Grist, River Teeth, and other journals.
Cheryl Capaldo Traylor
5/23/2019 01:04:22 pm
Luanne is such a talented poet. I love all of her work, but this poem really stands out, remains with me. It’s haunting, but in a beautiful way.
5/23/2019 06:24:07 pm
Luanne's poems are so good!
5/23/2019 08:14:57 pm
Luanne Castle has such an evocative way of writing her poems. I am drawn into the aftermath "scenery," observing the actions of persons past, as well as being affected by the author herself. Incredibly unique and fascinating history of her mother-in-law's legacy woven into this one!
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