Bio Note: Contact with straw makes me break out in welts, beautiful red slashes on arms and a shirtless back. But straw can be the stuff of poems. We are all Rumpelstiltskins spinning straw into gold.
Handbag of Straw
She wanted a used handbag made of straw a large handbag made of worn straw brown where the wear created bruises of use or age spots of wisdom from long ago travel or birthmarks of straw’s breaking ground in the farmer’s field of its childhood. She did not want the history that grimes the inside of the bag, the barrette or clip keeping someone else’s hair in place while her life teetered out of control or the lip gloss for another date that meant she hadn’t held on to the last one or the wadded Kleenex with saline of tears sewn into the tissue by time. She wanted a handbag to open like a tide pool washed by incoming waves filling with the small coins of her life with two handles not quite even to represent the slight imbalance between the right and left sides of her hips and her tendency towards hysteria in both laughter and remorse. She wanted a handbag made of straw knitted and strong to pull her into a future woven and resilient a flower on the side a reminder of her pluck and the luck that she needed She wanted a handbag made of straw, a gold crown she could afford.
Originally published in Mused Bella
A Round Straw Hat
I found a round straw hat turned upside down on the wild grass of western Wyoming, a great donation plate with a pretty weave to catch coin for the ravens resting there. The hat does not wither and wilt in the rain like an old fedora, the way in life an old detective finds the past has superseded the future. It’s not a cap, pulled down to escape the look of others, or to have a look that others want to escape. It doesn’t speak of baseball, bears no insignia of loyalty or brand except the gift of toquilla and the hands that wove it. It’s not a tam or beret, a cover for warmth. It’s got a brim to shed sunshine and rain, vents in the weave to let my idle thoughts vanish, then let them find their way back into circulation.
Originally published in Kentucky Review
©2021 Jeff Burt
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell her or him. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL