cambridge book review

Bill of Lading

Norma Gay Pewett

A chewed-looking Styrofoam snowman head,
++++++Black felt pipe, googly stuffed-animal eyes
++++++(also the bag of eyes, I discover later)
A sweater that smells disagreeable unless it is your mom’s
++++++An ocher clipping with a penned-in arrow
++++++To my head— “My Daughter” as if I don’t
++++++Recall sitting in turpentine at Methodist art camp
Some recipes she never used, but carefully copied longhand
++++++Swedish meatballs, ham loaf, Hanukkah cookies
++++++Did she know we were not Jewish? Did she know
The people in the multi-picture frame, never filled with us,
++++++So beautiful and fresh, having action-packed fun?
++++++She never saw the sea, but pictures of the sea—
++++++Did she long for the thrum of waves on pebble?
Some hanks of yarn, maybe free, from the spinners where
++++++Her working life began at fifty, where she nearly
++++++Fell in love with her foreman, but for her bad heart
Her bad heart, to my brother, who died with it in his chest.
++++++Her Ozark drawl, her temper, her madwalk to my sis-
++++++ter; her terror of twisters to all, her scrawl she left
++++++backwards, to her ma. After all, most say I got
Her hazel eyes, her love of fun, her Irish hair, and the low
++++++Thyroid that left her brows and mine scant
++++++She left her death-day as my birthday, to me, alone.

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April 1, 2010 - Posted by | memoir, poetry | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] I recently had the pleasure of writing a back cover blurb for Norma Gay Prewett’s poetry collection, The Perpetual Commotion of the Heart, now available from Finishing Line Press (with the author’s cover art). Four of the poems appeared originally in the Spring 2010 issue of our online literary journal, Cambridge Book Review, and include audio of Gay reading her work: “Cottonbound,” Knowing that Most Things Break,” “Calling You Back, and “Bill of Lading.” […]

    Pingback by The Perpetual Commotion of the Heart | Coffee Spew | July 27, 2014 | Reply

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