with a Texas dawn ripping my eyes
open like a sweaty Sunday shirt.
I expect the complaints of abused bones
creaking in marriage
I expect the ache of every hour ago.
But then –
The burden of the day unfolds
There are rings of dried coffee
in your abandoned mug
like those of a newly fallen tree
I know how many sips you took this morning
how many steps through the door
before kicking off your shoes
whether you went for the mail
or finger-raked your hair
or if you rushed out –
forgetful and frantic.
I know which thing you forgot.
These are sacred pieces of a story
I’ve loved in re-telling
Each time I grow younger.
You starting your day, in ways
Is it something we’ve collected
Something made by our overlaying hands
an heirloom tucked away, coveted
knick-knack on a bottom shelf
something made of clay or glass?
Is it the memory of a friend – we’ve loved and lost
Is it that ancient between us?
Is it lasting?
What is our dusty relic
which calls to us
Come inside – home.
Whatever it is – left when you’ve gone
a scroll, a scar, a microchip, a pile of dust and ash
leave that to me
Mel Sherrer completed her MFA at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She uses her Southern roots and knowledge of sonic aesthetic to create poems which have personal reverence for place, time, and societal evolution. Mel has been performing poetry for more than ten years. She is currently the Managing Poetry Editor for South 85 Journal, and she regularly interviews writers for our blog. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she is an avid performer, angler, and Nerf collector.
Liz Valvano, bassoon, is beginning her Doctorate of Musical Arts in double reed performance at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She completed her Masters in Music at Texas State University, woodwind performance under the tutelage of Daris Hale and Dr. Ian Davidson May 2017, and her BA in music and chemistry at Hollins University in May 2015, studying under Danny Felty of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Currently, she performs with the UNLV Symphony Orchestra and Honors Graduate Wind Quintet.