To Mom, in the Beyond

Two candles and three photos had to stand
atop the bureau that I used each summer.
No space for me to stack some books? Quelle bummer.
Each mantelpiece and shelf was also planned,
each ledge, nook, countertop, bare inch of floor,
or wedge of open air beneath a gable.
Even the sill behind the ping-pong table—
those poor doomed tchotchkes!—was accounted for.
Oh, how your decorating drove us nuts
(as tasteful as it was), your certainty
that everybody knew it would behoove them
to raise no disrespectful ifs or buts,
and leave each bud vase, bowl, or bottle be.
They’re all still there, of course: we’d hate to move them.

Melissa Balmain

Melissa Balmain

Melissa Balmain edits Light, a journal of comic poetry, and teaches at the University of Rochester. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Bystander, Lighten Up Online, Mezzo Cammin, The New Criterion, and Rattle. Her poetry collection Walking in on People (winner of the Able Muse Book Award) is often assumed by online shoppers to be some kind of porn.
Melissa Balmain

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Author: Melissa Balmain

Melissa Balmain edits Light, a journal of comic poetry, and teaches at the University of Rochester. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Bystander, Lighten Up Online, Mezzo Cammin, The New Criterion, and Rattle. Her poetry collection Walking in on People (winner of the Able Muse Book Award) is often assumed by online shoppers to be some kind of porn.