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 email@example.com.