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Butter Mints
by
Terri Kirby Erickson


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An old woman lived across
the street in a house so small
and square it might have been
a handkerchief, neatly folded,
in the pocket of its own front
porch. She was skinny as a switch,
hump-backed and liver-spotted,
the veins in her hands fat
as earthworms. She wore floral
patterned dresses with buttons
round and white as moons,
high-topped shoes triple-tied
with extra-long laces, and she
was no fool. On the kitchen
counter, she stacked her tins
of butter mints, homemade,
in baby blanket colors—pale
pinks, lemon yellows, sea-foam
greens. They drew us in like
beacons, eager to mop, dust
or sweep, in exchange for which
she doled them out, one at a time,
like solid gold doubloons.
 
From Telling Tales of Dusk (Press 53, 2009).
Used here with the author’s permission.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

 

Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of three collections of poetry, including In the Palms of Angels, which won a Nautilus Silver Award for Poetry and a gold medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry, 2013 Poet's Market, The Christian Science Monitor, storySouth, Verse Daily, and many others. Terri is the mother of a grown daughter, and lives near Winston-Salem, North Carolina with her husband of many years. Learn more about her at http://terrikirbyerickson.wordpress.com.


New comments are closed for now.
wendy morton:
What a woman. What a poem!!
Posted 10/12/2012 11:41 AM
transitions:
Wonderfully descriptive; a story that draws you in and gives you a smiling finish ~ enjoyed ~ Judy
Posted 10/12/2012 11:34 AM
tannerlynne:
wOW! A HOUSE SO SMALL IT Might HAVE BEEN A HANKERCHIEF neatly folded...how neat is that.
Posted 10/12/2012 08:45 AM


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