Esther Questions Love and Home—or Love and Hate?
The two-fold way a woman feels about home—
both loving the nest created from scraps
found in her neighborhood, a bird with detritus
of years past gathered into something new—
and resenting the obligation of building a nest
for the benefit of others.
I want my things gathered around like snippets
of what a magpie would bring home, bright,
flashy bits of jewelry from flea markets
and craft fairs, all the furniture used,
worn hand rests of chairs, kitchen table
scratched where someone dragged a fork,
bookcases chipped and gouged from moves,
a mattress on the floor but still atop a box spring
because long ago the frame broke and it was so much
easier to put on shoes from that height than before.
And art on all the walls. And leaning against the walls.
And sitting on top of suitcases from every era,
half packed and ready to go. One holds thigh-high nylons
with a gel that grips the legs from when your mother
sent you a black wool skirt and burgundy ankle boots
you were going to wear on New Year’s Eve in Paris
the year of the World Trade Center attack and didn’t.
Esther’s Last Request
I want to go to the tallest town in Colorado, drink beer
in a saloon, meet Baby Doe Tabor with a pink sash
across my chest, go down into the Matchless Mine,
bring up a nugget of turquoise in the blue–green
that is a Western sky where it meets a field of grass.
The one thing I ask of you is to put out a brass bed—
or iron painted gold will do— in an open field,
tailings of shafts bored for silver scattered below
the box springs, quilts piled on the bed for the chill
of summer nights at 10,000 feet.
And if I’m lucky, I will pass at dawn as crows
leave their roost in pines and call across the valley
one to the other, making my way to a place I have yet
to imagine, deep breaths of mountain air
tinged with dew as I draw my last.
Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press).Ride the Pink Horse is forthcoming from Spartan Press. With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France. Granted residencies in poetry from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, she is one of eight members of the Boiler House Poets who perform and study at the museum. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.