Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found or is forthcoming in over a hundred publications including The Still Journal, American Journal of Poetry, Poetry South, Spillway, Tower Poetry Society, Mad River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Town Creek Poetry, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting, Memory Train, and Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at: www.larrydthacker.com
A Junk Drawer
Three table knives.
Extension cord (six feet).
Warranty manual for deep freeze.
Empty book of matches from Holiday Inn.
Used cat flea collar.
Unopened pack of index cards.
Ceramic blue bird.
One silver fork.
Why do we keep dulled, non-matching knives,
as if there aren’t others all over the house,
even better knives, matching and sharp?
The cord is frayed just around the plug.
Was this noticed and tossed in the drawer
as if the drawer was a holding point,
a purgatory for healing, before the bin?
There is a hum in the cellar. A never-ending hum,
vibrating the house sometimes. No one
knows what’s inside the hum.
A book is only a book when something exists
between the covers, she said,
striking the last match for a last shared smoke.
After the man left, she kicked
off the covers, stood naked in the mirror,
trying to remember every detail of the night.
A small mound in the backyard. Very small.
We know, at least, they belonged to Marjorie K,
but no one in the house ever had a last name
with a K, nor was anyone a Marjorie,
it might have been a school friend,
visiting, leaving some book report materials,
forgetting where she’d put them, but
swearing they were in her backpack.
Fits in the palm of your hand. The glazing
reflects the day’s cloudlessness, turning
the creature all the more impossibly azure.
This goes home with you.
With maker’s marks. A crown and indistinguishable
letters. A scent that doesn’t leave your fingers
until you get home and wash them
before having supper in your own home.