Patina by Pamela Sumners

3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Poetry Contest



The things you forget are the stupid verbal confetti of old love letters,
the weight of ancient matters settling the scales of justice around your
shoulders like a yoke or a shawl, and it doesn’t matter, because you’re
wearing it, for work or for warmth you don’t know. They’ve come to rest
there, ploughshares or bodyrags of old words, leaving splinters or growing
tattered—it doesn’t much matter. All tales grow old in the telling of them
but still are yours, mine, ours, the dazzling, crumbling libretti of the stars.
We guide the ordinary calendars of intention, calibrate the days, paying
a mortgage in years that sometimes feels a ransom for old time’s sake.
How much dust can rusticate onto sheen, a cherished patina of meaning?
I met a dealer in old goods once who told me, copper is a dirty metal,
made beautiful by breathing, melding to one ore, oxidizing out of thin air.

Pamela L. Sumners
Pamela L. Sumners has been writing poetry since third grade. Poetry is her first love. To earn a living, she has been forced to practice law and sue people like Roy Moore, and run non-profits. She is glad to be just writing poems.

Featured image: Copper Star from Kyoto by Braden Kowitz. CC license.

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