by Rikki Santer
I was miniature at her ankles
mining the caverns of her bottom pantry
economy cans of whole peaches dressed in A&P labels:
voluptuous melba orbs with bowtie leaves & backdrops velvety black
all balancing a fat scrapbook stuffed with news clippings 8×10 glossies.
In her kitchen I swayed cross-legged to the lilt of her show tunes
our family’s pre-dinner overture
she nursing a frying pan of sizzling liver & onions Luck
be a lady tonight Lyrics my passport
to the cosmology of her heart I’ll be seeing you
bright blouses matching a smorgasbord
of bejeweled flatties melodies blooming on her tongue
Blue skies smiling at me.
Late into the nights when she could no longer longhand her words
she pecked tender messages from her script typewriter
tucked them deep into her cookbooks
secret harmonies that surprise then serenade me a lifetime later.
Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications both nationally and abroad including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, The Journal of American Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Crab Orchard Review, Grimm, Slipstream and The Main Street Rag. Her work has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published by NightBallet Press in the spring. She lives in Columbus, Ohio. Please contact her through her website: www.rikkisanter.com