Poem of the Week: January 26th, 2015

Shanan Ballam teaches poetry writing and academic writing at Utah State University. Her poetry has appeared in several literary journals, including Crab Orchard Review, Main Street Rag, and Indiana Review. Her chapbook, The Red Riding Hood Papers, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2010. More of her work can be found in Issue 2, Volume 1 of bunrstdistrict.

GRANDMOTHER WAITING FOR RED RIDING HOOD: THE FOOTPRINT
By Shanan Ballam

Lupine’s silver smatters
blue penstemon,
throats open, drinking bees.
In the shade, damp grass
flattened, the oval
of an animal body.

Once, washing walls, behind
the bookshelf I found
the faint footprint of a girl,
angled as if she were lying down,
gazing out the window
into thin rags of rain.

Tenderly, I cleansed her toes away.
I remember bathing
her small body in a steaming
basin, my cloth dripping
pale perfume.

It must be so lonely
to be the fading print,
the fragrant indentation
laced with musk.

I lie down so it can hold
me, this cradle
of long, fine grass.


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