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Saturday, September 12, 2020


by Penelope Scambly Schott

The white daybed in the corner
between crammed bookshelves

An afghan of crocheted squares
draped across the rocking chair

Forty years of talk over supper
A spark and a festive red flare

The dangerous minutes we took
stuffing both cats into the pick-up

Fire Evacuation, Level 3: Go Right Now

The lavender glass perfume vial
from the grandmother’s dressing table

the silver pendant the mother hung
from around her scrawny neck

The yellow Brooks Brothers dress shirt
the father wore to his office

A stained first edition of Mending Wall
signed in person by Robert Frost

plus wallet and passport and computer
and checkbook and cash and bed pillow

and two days’ worth of clean underwear
and the pill bottles and a nice cold Pepsi

and two lightly browned slices of toast
with just the right amount of butter

Author's Note: We are safe but 1/10 of the population has evacuated, and friends have lost everything. One poet friend of mine lost her house but saved her alpacas.

Penelope Scambly Schott is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Her newest book is On Dufur Hill, poems about the cycle of the year in a small wheat-growing town.