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Poem: Apron

from our poet of the month: Eugene Gloria

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worn out apron

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"the apron aspires to stand before / sinners and saints and carve / verses on stone: Mon coeur mis à nu,"

APRON

Unlike the grotesque bonnet
worn at church, the apron
is more a second cousin
to the humble scarf in winter.
The apron would never say
“So what” to you. She’s agreeable
as a kitchen mantle with ripening fruit.
A sponge when it comes to stink:
splatter of fish scales and fish guts,
the errant strafe of grease
from angry skillets, the teary onion’s
grief and stutter. In middle life,
the apron aspires to stand before
sinners and saints and carve
verses on stone: Mon coeur mis à nu,
she’ll tattoo on your chest.
She’s your last line of defense
against burnt anchovies,
the wide net draping
over the frightful forest,
the canvas cradling the boxer’s face,
a makeshift dressing
on a playground wound.
The apron is the fulsome embrace
for a brother shoving off—
the one with empty pockets
coming home to the damp, dark
folds of her familiar stink.

Listen to Gloria read Apron:

Insight shared with S&H from Eugene Gloria:

"This poem comes from a series of thing poems I began several years ago. I was playing around with the idea of making a portrait—both body and soul from a list of objects. The poem leaps from scent to utility and from utility to smothering affection. When I first began writing thing poems, I was in search of tangible objects that would allow me to see the world in its bigness but crafted in compressed intensities that only the medium of poetry is best suited to do."

From SIGHTSEER IN THIS KILLING CITY by Eugene Gloria, published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. © 2019 by Eugene Gloria.

More Poems:

Eugene Gloria In the Andes

Wilder No. 112

Deborah Anne Quibell A Thousand Ways


Eugene Gloria

Eugene Gloria’s previous poetry collections are My Favorite Warlord, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Hoodlum Birds, and Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (2000), a National Poetry Series selection and recipient of the Asian American Literary Award. He lives in Greencastle, Indiana, and teaches at DePauw University.


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