Where All the Ladders Start
I visited her shop this afternoon
to rummage through the clutter and the schlock.
As usual, old tins and jars were strewn
pell-mell across the floor. I’m out of stock
in dancing bears, she yammered, but I’ve got
a thousand smithereens up on the shelf.
I’ll take a shiny penny for the lot.
I knew I’d have to fetch them for myself;
and yet, the price was right. I filled my bags
with broken glass, with beads and brittle bones;
then for good measure, reams of tattered rags,
a rusty can, a box of sticks and stones:
the rudiments of memory and art –
the poems howling from my shopping cart.
--- Catherine Chandler [first published
in 14 by 14, Issue 7, December 2008]