What is left

A few remnants of birch bark,
pin-scratched with hopeful hieroglyphs.

A recipe for the perfect three-layer chocolate cake.

A trophy. A steamy love letter.
A four-leaf clover forever

crushed between the pages of an ancient encyclopedia.

That nobody uses anymore.
That is dog-eared in the ‘A’ section.

A for Appaloosa, Aerodrome, Agnus Dei.
A for Alpaca. Alula. Amphorae.

Ambient. Amethyst. Amber.
The color of burnt molasses,

seeping and sticky, sweet
to the tongues of trapped insects.

A broach with a swatch of hair enclosed.

A few remnants of cedar shavings,
and that balsam-filled pillow

I got at the tourist shop on a trip to New Hampshire.

Skiing together in the Whites.
A bent lift pass, snuggling for warmth

with a gold wedding band.


Janet Barry is a musician and poet with works published in numerous journals and anthologies, most recently Prairie Wolf Press, Extract(s), and Looseleaf Tea. She serves yearly as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, and has received several Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations, as well as having her poem “Aubade” chosen for inclusion in a forthcoming edition of BiLINE (Best Indie Lit New England). Janet holds degrees in organ performance and poetry.

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