A few new: Another Linen Monday; In the Center

Here are a couple of poems from a group I’ve been working on for weeks and today, I decided that it was time for them to be done.

When I first started to work, many years ago, I could not afford many clothes. I never was able to buy a linen suit but I saw plenty of them at the office. I still have the ambition to have and wear a nice navy blue linen summer suit.

Another Linen Monday

I bought this linen suit
at the nicest store in town
Last year’s style
It was eager and aggressive on the rack
Pale and crisp, it assured me,
my personality is and always will be

I had my own issues to account for and
I guess we both needed to believe

but now
we know each other too well and with our
mutually creased elbows and stretched out bottoms
So which one of us is it who has
let the other one down?

The question could be asked
we don’t do it. Instead
we catch the bus for work.


At my grandparents’ house. A very long time ago.

In the Center

a very small girl
swallowing salty tears

I remove myself to my refuge
the only sympathetic space in the house
here under the dining room table

I grab a handful of the lace tablecloth
drooping its folds of looped rosettes
to brush the scratchy blue carpet

I press the cloth to my face.
It is a comfort to me
with its dry dusty smell

a small spider
run home and seeking solace
in the middle of her web


11 thoughts on “A few new: Another Linen Monday; In the Center

  1. I used to hide under the table too! Of course now I only use a tablecloth for special occasions,,,in fact, otherwise, I always eat at the kitchen counter. But I would probably still hide there on occasion if given the opportunity. Also, behind both the couch and the curtains as I recall…(I have no curtains now either) (k)

    • I used to get under the bed and I also hid behind the living room drapes. But at my grandmother’s house, it was always the table, because she usually kept some kind of cloth on it or if not, well, I’d get right in the middle. No one came in the dining room because it was a bit separate, and it was quiet in there to give me a place to regroup.

  2. I found the second poem so moving. I don’t remember hiding under a table, but I could imagine a child doing so. We also only had tablecloths on the table for special occasions, and both of my grandmothers died when I was very young.

    • Thank you. My grandparents’ house was a refuge from my own home in most cases and but my grandmother was firm about things and didn’t hesitate to bring me back into line (the good thing being, once she’d scolded you, it was over and done with, unlike what I experienced in my own house!). I very much wanted to please her and when I fell short, well, I’ve always cried easily and needed a place to recover (especially since the house often was full of other cousins or visitors) at my own pace. The table was my spot. I can still feel that carpet on my bare knees as I crawled under the table.

  3. I think the second poem is very evocative. I think you capture that sense of seeking out a safe place in which to process those big feelings. The first poem made me laugh. Linen and I do not get along. Any time I have bought an item with a high linen content I have always regretted it because I end up a crumpled mess.

    • Sometimes even now I think things would be better if I could just get under the table a little while and maybe rest up before I dove back into life…and as for linen, it wrinkles all right, but I love the fabric and a linen suit represented luxury to me at a time when my budget was not…luxuirious!

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