2015 PAD – Day 15

This may be the last poem I’m able to post “on time” (more or less); I’m headed out of town on a road trip with Diamondqueen tomorrow through Sunday. A pilgrimage for my sister to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum–read more about my sister’s fascination with LIW here. Two nights we’ll be in regular hotels with, hopefully, WiFi, but Friday night we’re staying in a neat cabin near Mansfield, Missouri, without even television. So I’m not anticipating a connection there (although I’m looking forward to some nature if it doesn’t rain too much).

The day 15 prompt at Poetic Asides was to choose an adjective, make it the title of your poem, and write the poem. Frankly, I hate one-word titles. I tried to make up for it by choosing an unusual adjective:


As a child in school, she felt ashamed
of her worn dresses. They weren’t ripped or dirty,
but they showed signs of wear: faded prints,
edges frayed (after all, she was fourth
in the hand-me-down lineage of most frocks).

As a bride, she was self-conscious
about the second-hand furniture
in the dinky apartment. Scratches,
chipped paint, mismatched hardware
drove her to the furniture ads in the paper
and the Sears catalog to fantasize
about shiny, unmarred furniture
worthy of dusting and polishing.

She’d heard the word “shabby” about
those childhood dresses and that first home
with her new husband. In fact, it was a word
she used herself. And as God was her witness,
she’d never be shabby again. Years later,

she sat in her daughter’s kitchen, drinking coffee
from irregular pieces of Goodwill china. The table
and chairs predated her newlywed set,
and a prized shelf on the kitchen wall
looked as if it had been cobbled together
from odd pieces of several other shelves.

“It’s called ‘shabby chic,’ Mom,” said her daughter,
trying to talk her into a trip to the thrift store.
She smoothed the front of her silk blouse, grateful
no one had ever worn it but her, and smiled
to remember her new Ethan Allan buffet
was scheduled for delivery next Tuesday.

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