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Beginnings, a poem by Dave Malone

by Dave Malone

The two grand quilting ladies
leave their mark on the street—
one a cigarette butt,
pink with yesterday’s lips,
the other a crimson handbag
catching the light just so—
when forty years back, she rode
the Panama Limited to Chicago
fresh from a divorce that never took,
her elbows back on Ozark table
a winter later. The smoker knows
the story as much as her own—
her husband a ghost running
through flowerbeds she weeds out
at the senior center where indoors
she pokers with grace—far less lonely
than any suicide king she plays.

Dave Malone’s bio:I received my graduate degree in English from Indiana State in 1994 and later lived in the New Albany area. I no longer reside in Indiana, but I consider myself part Hoosier. My great (7th) grandmother, Mary Coughman Bridgewater, was a doctor of medicine in the early 1800s and lived at the small village of Pigeon Roost with her family. Though she lost children at the conflict there in 1812, she survived.