Artifact – Claudia Emerson

For three years you lived in your house
just as it was before she died: your wedding
portrait on the mantel, her clothes hanging
in the closet, her hair still in the brush.
You have told me you gave it all away
then, sold the house, keeping only the confirmation
cross she wore, her name in cursive chased
on the gold underside, your ring in the same

box, those photographs you still avoid,
and the quilt you spread on your borrowed bed—
small things. Months after we met, you told me she had
made it, after we had slept already beneath its loft
and thinning, raveled pattern, as though beneath
her shadow, moving with us, that dark, that soft.

Beautiful, aching, a little bit strange in a very sad way. Thoughts?


One thought on “Artifact – Claudia Emerson

  1. I love the way this expresses emotion by adapting the sonnet form and making it something elusive and irregular. Thus the poets feelings are shown with a ragged edge, rather than being detailed and delineated. I love the unorthodox use of words – it finishes with an adjective used as a noun, which again contributes to the air of incompleteness.

    Marie Marshall

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