Ode to an Apron

July 26, 2018
The author, Samantha Thornhill, smiling broadly
Photo: Peter Dressel

Protective by default
affectionate by design

apron, you
are my mother:
sweet bread baking
blue veins racing
down white expanse
dotted with delicious
splatter and spill.

My mother wore
you well and washed
you plenty
fresh from school
it was you greeting
my gaze before her
smile could reach me.

Collective wet dream
of chauvinists,
that birthday
I hosted friends,
you hugged
my voluptuous.

Forget now what culprit
peeped our groove
and boxed me domestic

but peep this:
you haven’t touched
heaven or smelled
heat since.

Trapped with smears
of lemon meringue
and all of spring
you dangle
unseasonable
in the spare closet.

Apron, say
you are my lover now. 
Without you,
my threads destine
toward ruin.
With you,
I personify my fears
in first person.
You know, me   
barefoot, birthing
a census – you homeland
security stretching
across all my
brown biscuits.

Now like Hikmet the poet
you hiccup verses
through the walls
of your prison
so today I decide
to bust you out. 

Brass knob groans
inside grip and on your hook
you sway as in
the hips of time:
last song prom
before the lights
fall on
punch-drunk
two-step 
pendulum
slow dance—

closet door, a grand-
father clock in my hands.

Editorial note:  Four more of Samantha Thornhill’s poems appear in WLT’s special music-and-literature section of the September issue.

Samantha Thornhill (samanthaspeaks.com) is a poet, educator, and author of three children’s books. A performer on stages across the US and internationally, she holds an MFA from the University of Virginia and taught poetry for a decade at the Juilliard School. Her newest children’s book, A Card for My Father, was published this year with Penny Candy Books. 

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