Elegy with Mopping and Applesauce Cake – Kyla Houbolt

Jack’s dead now so I can write about him
taking me on a tour of the coast up from SF
eating Vienna Sausages in the back of the van.
Missing those days while I mop this floor
smeared with at least six weeks’
slops and mud smirch on white tile.
Give me the back of the van any day.

Made applesauce cake, remembering when
he came back from a season of apple picking,
hosted an apple party, I made a pie in that dim kitchen,
turned out real well, I’d never made a pie crust before.
He read that apple picking Frost poem, everybody did some
apple thing or other, it was slumming, really, a hippie thing,
go pick apples for a season.

I heard he died in Thailand, of cancer, like most of those men.
Not my ex-husband though, with him it’s his heart.
We argued about how to pronounce Walter Matthau. He said
Mat TOO, and I said MATH ow. He pimped me to Jack
one night. Jack was his best friend from way back.
I was only his wife.

Who knows.

The apple cake is good, the floor is white, next time
maybe I’ll paint a picture on it
instead of cleaning it down
to the bone.

With thanks to Hannah VanderHart for the title suggestion, and for the inspiration to write this poem.

Kyla Houbolt’s debut micro chapbook, Dawn’s Fool, is available from IceFloe Press. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and most of her published work can be found on her Linktree: https://linktr.ee/luaz_poet. She is on Twitter @luaz_poet.

The Cabinet Of Heed Issue 30 Contents Link

Image via Pixabay

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