Home > Chapbook Finalists 2011 > Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins

September 30, 2011

to her father

from Periodicity by Iris A. Law (Runner-up)

Something of you
still slips through the keyholes.
A whining in the pipes, or wind
nudging the leaves
of the mulberry tree—

I bristle, hearing your boots
at corners, but round them
to find only spiders, mice
sniffing at crumbs on a sill.

I’ve been poring over your
shelves of pickled things,
looking for a wisp of hair or smear
of oil, small evidence of your hands

on these jars. But their walls
remain crystal. The pupil-less
bodies rise in their fluid, bump
dumbly against the glass.

I’ve locked my folios away, will live
a little while in the darkness of this room,
the curtains drawn. Lately, I’ve found
the color blue to be untenable alone.


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Iris A. Law is Kundiman Fellow and a graduate of the M.F.A. program at the University of Notre Dame. She edits the online literary magazine and blog Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry and currently works as a teacher of college composition.

  1. Barbara LaMorticella
    October 3, 2011 at 2:59 am

    A lovely poem.

  2. Barbara LaMorticella
    January 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    On listening again, please let me add: a lovely poem and a lovely voice speaking it.

  3. Jeevan
    March 19, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Very beautifully written.

  1. December 1, 2011 at 10:55 am
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