Today's poem is by Andrea Hollander Budy


Her voice has too much jewelry in it.
That's what his mother said
after everyone else
had gone upstairs to bed
or out on the porch with their cigarettes.
It was the second time he'd brought
a girlfriend home, the first
such a disaster he swore
he wouldn't be that kind of fool
again, dragging into the den
of his childhood another
            She was rinsing off the last
dish, he lifting one of the serving spoons
from the rack, letting the plates
drain a little longer before he'd take
the cloth to them. Jewelry, he thought—
his mother always found the perfect
word, the one that would worm
its way into his mind against his will
and spring all at once into prominence
like wild mushrooms in the forest
after rain. Harmless at first, tiny
white caps dotting the landscape,
and only when fully grown
could you know if they were poison.

Copyright © 2009 Andrea Hollander Budy All rights reserved
from Five Points
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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