Monday, April 14, 2008

Faded Red Velvet

Faded red velvet and trash on the floor,
light through the windows as bleak as the dead.
Not how I recollect things were before—

back when we lived here, upstairs from the store.
Mama and Papa kept curtains of red
unfaded velvet, no trash on the floor.

“Customers walk down the street past our door,
they don’t like to see a big mess,” Mama said:
that’s what I recollect. These things, before

I went off to college, they meant nothing more
than hard work and boredom and childish dread
of cleaning the velvet and sweeping the floor.

Schoolmates who laughed at me minding the store,
teachers who wrote me off, good friends who fled,
that’s what I recollect. All that, before

windows were shattered by passage of war.
Mama and Papa were killed in their bed
of faded red velvet. There’s trash on the floor.
It’s not how I recollect things were before.

--Cafe Writing image courtesy of L. H. Prior

Collection available! Knocking from Inside


AmbiguityLotus said...

Almost like reading Poe. I like reading the rhyming scheme in this poem and the way you incorporated into a story. I enjoyed the "recollection" in this piece.


Sara said...

Oh my, how very sad.

Nicely written.