February 2001

Kelly Bancroft


Kelly Bancroft lives in Youngstown, Ohio, where she coordinates an arts/education partnership. Her work has appeared in Mudfish, Literal Latte, XConnect, and others.
In Grandma's House   

ghosts of dumplings, ghosts
of chickens, ghosts of the herd

whose fat she cooked with,
ghost of a lost groom, ghost

of a stillborn, ghost of my uncle
Edward's lopped thumb,

ghost of a third cousin straining
on the toilet, ghost of my uncle

at the mirror with the pistol,
ghost of a tin ear, ghost

of knick-knacks, ghost
of my uncle putting the gun back,

ghost of a tumor, ghost
of cigarettes, ghost

of the spittoon
gulping your last wish



Call Before You Dig   

You might unearth the earth
The widow's bones, the poodle's toys,
The love letter unrehearsed
Call before you dig

Aunt Edna's heart housed a valve
That once beat in a pig
And the valve in her heart drummed her fingers to dance
Call before you dig

Aunt Edna's box was cloisonné
A one-legged dancer jigged
When you opened the lid where she lay
Call before you dig

A brisk pirouette, a shuffle ball change,
Her eye-teeth clenching roses
Aunt Edna twirled 'til she spun away
Call before you dig

You might unearth the earth
The widow's bones, the poodle's toys
The love letter unrehearsed



Kelly Bancroft: Poetry
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