The flea shop sign boldly announces twenty
percent off gold hoops for Mother’s Day and
though I think the fire of labor then pain
of endlessly extracted patience worth at
least ten percent more, it’s the missing letters
which give me most pause today: the last message
(somewhat of a proud and desperate invitation):
Come in and see our Civil War meteor!
The stunning offer lasted all winter and each time
I drove to the bank or grocery store I considered pulling
into the pot-holed parking lot to pay my respects,
wondering if the messenger was behind glass or
carefully set against black velvet by the cash register
and a tray of antique fishing lures, garnets, and pipes.
But I was always running late or tired or wondered
what would I buy after I went in? Oh I always imagined
the awkwardness! after someone behind the crowded
counter spoke to me, saying hello and how are you.
For it was a business after all, not a museum.
I would have to say fine, picking up a postcard
of the Blue Ridge Parkway quickly, in defense,
never even seeing who wrote the illeligible lines,
thin and scrawled, some grand message rent
by age and lacunae: how is the corn this year? Bill’s
Shoulder is giving him X. We’re eating well.
X___________X cocunut (SP) pie to______for.
Secret crust    X   Give recipe     X I’m doubtful.

~ ~ ~

Jenn Blair‘s work has appeared in the Montreal Review, Copper Nickel, The James Dickey Review, New South, Tulane Review, Cold Mountain Review, Segue, Kestrel, Southloop Review Online, Blood Orange Review, Rattle, and the Superstition Review among others. Her chapbook ‘All Things are Ordered’ is out from Finishing Line Press. She is from Yakima, WA.