Also by Antonio Vallone:
My Grandmother's Breasts | Like No Other
Like No Other
I have grown to love
my mother's mismatched life.
Striped bed sheets,
grown in some other garden
& a comforter clashing
like cracked cymbals. Washcloths
& towels hung out
like small arguments. Plates, cups,
bowls & saucers collected
from six different sets. Giveaway water glasses
each without a twin.
Flatware & pans
collected like family
& furniture uncoordinated
as dancing cousins
in all the rooms. Pedigreed cats,
the scratch & dent
of their litters:
deaf, lame, one eye
blue & one green.
Walls & floors
bare, closets heaped with paper-
& canned goods
for the next Depression.
The freezer stocked
like a trout pond. Even the throws
over the hand-me-down
sofa & chairs
& the cloths over the nicked tables
too beat up for Goodwill
or any kind of Salvation
unlike one another. Hers
is a world
where surface doesn't matter
but only function, the heart
& rag-tag of things,
which "are only what they are,"
she's reminded me so many times,
"no matter what they look like."
Printed in the Spring/Summer 2001 issue of CLR
Vallone is an associate professor of English at Penn State Dubois. He
is the publisher of MAMMOTH books and editor of Pennsylvania
English. His most recent collection of poetry is titled Golden Carp.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
find Antonio Vallone on the web at:
Poems for This Is Not Art
for This Is Not Art