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Sanders, Kay / That red dirt road
(2010)

Aunt Ida's antimacassars,   p. 27


Page 27

Aunt Ida's Antimacassars
Some say she led an uncultured life
tucked away from civilization
in her tin-roof house,
wind-drift of wood smoke
seeping into walls and shed,
outhouse connected to back door
by a line stretched shoulder-high
so that blind Uncle Barber
could wend his way out
and back again through kitchen
and parlor to front porch
to sit in a ladder-back chair,
air filled with his rhythmic thumping
against the wall, punctuated
by zing of snuff spit into zinc pail,
tang of turnip greens boiling in a pot,
crusty smell of cornpone crisping
in the wood-burning stove,
seeing still through clouds
that filmed his eyes
the lovely sway of goldenrod,
its gilded plumes
that screened the barbed-
wire fence beside the red dirt road,
the tensile strength of Ida's hands,
wielding axe upon cords
of wood, crochet hook upon yards
of thread-how delicate the lace
that lay light as her fingers
upon faded furnishings,
their backs,
their arms,
their bodies,
lit by a fire she did not let go out.
27


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