Closets of church-pressed dresses
packed tight as parishioners,
her pockets full of crinkled Kleenex
that still held the code of her.
Crystal this, silverplate that,
fine china, bone china, tablecloths
made in China, the handwork blindingly
tiny. Tatted doilies saved for a time
that will never come again.
Palm fronds from so many
Easters braided into crosses
tucked here and there, faded
church bulletins, rosary beads,
worry beads, button beads.
The ruby ring from her mother,
resting in a Grandma mug
to the left of the sink, as if just
twisted off to wash a dish.
Naturalization papers show her
at seventeen: hair waved as the sea,
those eyes I see every day
at my house, vivid and flushed,
her blood already pulsing with us.
Dorian Kotsiopoulos has featured at various poetry venues in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in journals, including Poet Lore, Salamander, Slipstream, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Women’s Review of Books, Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Belletrist, The Ekphrastic Review, and Smartish Pace. Dorian loves studying poetry at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.