national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Keeping House

Madeline Thieringer  • 
College of Charleston

Calendula, beeswax, jingle shells. The tinge
of harmonica swells that find the blues, over-watered geranium leaves.
Yellow bits of rosemary: they were supposed to thrive on neglect.


Dandelion greens: the bitterness boiled out
three times over. These golden days. The yellow in a blue
cement stoop. Heels always in socks in shoes, in socks in bed.


The tips of Paperwhite greens that have prolonged December.
The underbelly of the moon, a jar of uncooked chickpeas, half & half
crusted under the cap of the carton.


A crackling cassette tape, combustible Christmas
trees. A warm morning: more
yellow waking up too warm. Sleep in the corners of our eyes.


Working light bulbs, withered kale, a river
with cluttered and oily foam. Caulk in bathtub crevices,
an inner elbow, the strain for affection.