May 2003

Lita Sorensen


Lita Sorensen Lita Sorensen's poetry has been published in various on-line and off-line journals including Riverstates Review, Bovine-Free Wyoming, Poetry Midwest, and Bits of Flint. She is also the author of a forthcoming book of nonfiction, Great Court Cases: The Scottsboro Boys Trial for Rosen Press, NYC. She lives and works in Iowa City, Iowa.

Kitchen Still Life (for Patra)    

Dressed in Mom's white cannery uniform
(this in memory smells always of plucked chickens),

she stayed three years after I left
sitting at the table in the kitchen on Pebble Street
there, among dishes stacked neatly on the counter
smeared with last night's fish, and the massive stove,
its huge gas tits covered by pots.

What were her thoughts as she gazed out the window,
hands in a bowl of green lettuce—
washing single leaves for supper?

Did she think it might go on forever—
days spent tuned to a punch clock,
nights wet with summer-boiled sheets?

The grandfather clocks heard clicking in unison—
pages of newspaper under the cigarette machine catch
tobacco crumbs rolled over & over.
Three books—the Bible, a dictionary, The Reader's Digest.
Crucifixes over every bed.

Did she notice how, too, the old sink in the corner
stood on stilts like the house of Baba Yaga
(they told us the story) stood on Old World chicken legs?




Lita Sorensen: Poetry
Copyright 2003 The Cortland Review Issue 23The Cortland Review