The 2River View 20.3 (Spring 2016)

Lindsay Adkins

Fabric Tricks

Blue-checked six hundred-thread count cotton,
Egyptian silk, jersey, lace and cream trims hot
from the dryer and my mother would sweat
as she folded them, hands cracked and throbbing
bending covers to cover themselves up,
corner to corner. Even the fitted sheets for
the mattress were crisp squares in the end—
she’d forge edges where there were none,
pinching curves to form angles while I chewed
my lip, hands folded over knees up to my chin
on the carpet. And company would arrive,
they’d take off their coats, hats, scarves
and my mother would lay them atop the quilt
on the bed she shared with my father, while
my grandmother would arrange the bracelets
on her wrist and remark that it looked like
no one lived at our house.


I step on a dead blue jay
in the marsh woods behind the shed,
its feathers mussed and kissing
the rusty bruised leaves in the dirt,
wings parted from its sides,
still bent in the flap of flight.
Skinny clawed feet punch out
either to brace or attack,
Eyes open and beak split,
still biting the skidding air.
The bone pop underfoot jets
my eyes down, hands up—
a reflex regret for rattling a pure
ode to shock death from the sky:
the moment of impact bottled,
no stone to take my hands, or lilies
to hush wishes of “if only, if only,”
no scratch of fresh sod to trick me
into believing that death does
not belong to the living.

Lindsay Adkins is an Assistant Supervisor of print book production with the Random House Publishing Group. Her poems have appeared in the Aurorean, Muddy River Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. contact

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