Rosalia in her 90s

By Kim Shuck

Off in those days of furniture forts

Curled under upended armchairs or

Broom handles stuck in the lawn

Draped with blankets with you it was always this


As your fears take over we try to

Talk it out

Tease some sense from a new game

Cereal, mug, toast

Food become building material you

Push it more than eat the

Pills you take or bury in the mashed potato when

No one is looking the arguments

About baths

About dreams that have become for you so

Vivid about your cold cold hands about the dinner you

Cooked it years ago but can smell that soup and


Yearn for it, I’m

Learning to overcook to use

Handfuls of black pepper a

Spell to summon that familiar raven’s eye that

Smile that says you knew I was teasing you.

Copyright © Kim Shuck. All rights reserved.

Kim Shuck is a writer, visual artist, curator, frustrated mom and recovering sarcastic. She holds an MFA in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University. Her first solo book of poetry, Smuggling Cherokee, was published by Greenfield Review press in 2005 and won the Diane Decorah Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas. Recent work has been included in the anthologies New Poets of the American West and I Was Indian. In June 2010 Kim had a month long co-residency at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Visit her on the web at

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