The word professional movers use
for the leftover doodads that do not find
a place in bags or boxes or trunks
like my mother’s Christmas rugs she kept
year-round on the kitchen floor,
the woven Currier and Ives Santa that caught
her head when she died in front of the stove,
chowder, the objects I tell my daughter
to be smart about and get rid of now before
it will hurt more to keep than to throw them away,
the bright rugs, coffee mugs, photos of hugs—
chowder is the reason I say Hold onto nothing
when she draws our home for art class
and what I tell myself when she says I love you.
The Body Plural
My arms and back work the paddle.
The canoe seems motionless on the river.
Some bored farm boy
on a 1913 steel Canton Bridge
stops shooting his .22 at a piece
of wood as I glide near.
A rope swing hangs from a cottonwood branch
over the Niobrara
straight as an old-fashioned