Why great-great-grandpa Stan
brought home these salacious
bookends, naked sister yogis
posed slim legs up the wall
in four generations of our parlors
since I’d guess the twenties,
judging by their fluted tresses
and flat chests, the hysterical
art deco jade of their glazed
skin—as if, though cast of iron,
they’d gone amenorrheic—
I won’t guess. But I’ll bet
he got them cheap: last week
one slipped and broke her neck.
None of the women in the family
have ever been that green.
Sarah Barber’s book The Kissing Party was published by the National Poetry Review Press in April 2010. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Crazyhorse, FIELD, The Journal, The Georgetown Review, Malahat, Fugue, Crab Orchard Review, Columbia Poetry Review and Ninth Letter, among other places. She teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.