Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Putting Things In Order

As I drove south to put her things in order,

to sort and box—not pleasure, but obsession—

I measured miles past Mason-Dixon border,


past plants and mills beyond the Inner Harbor

that crumbled from a plague of self-destruction:

like Mother’s cancer, lessons in disorder.



The Civil War that tore our house asunder,

its monuments to mutual aggression,

kept haunting me to Carolina border


where I passed cotton, heard its history whisper

to Goodwill her entire dress collection,

dark closet racks she couldn’t keep in order.



Lamenting that she hadn’t had a daughter

to strip her attic back to Great Depression,

I read the signs and crossed the Georgia border


where pulp mills made me curse her paper hoarding,

the reek of sinners blurting last confession

for havoc that attacked the natural order.

I drove, I drove to reach the last state border.

About the Author

Richard Krohn has spent most of his life up and down the East Coast, from Maine to Virginia, but mostly in the middle. He has also lived for extended periods in Central America. His work has appeared in Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River, Arts & Letters, Rattle, Euphony, and Common Ground, among others. He is always happy to exchange ideas with other lovers of poetry at