- Cast Iron
Summer: coal skin, ash within, pressing my cheek to the stove’s cool flank, it sounds like a seashell’s empty roar.
Two iron lions tangle on the door of the wood stove in our two-room house.
Winter: the cats and dogs pile near its heat, they sleep on the stone floor.
Before rolling Friday night pizzas, we leave dough to rise in a bowl on the hearth.
A brick there: 1978.
Twenty years pass—
it takes four men to carry the chalkboard black [End Page 151]
whale from the house and heave it by the road’s edge.
I’m almost a man by then, and help. *
Rubbed with lard, three coats, the layers baked in the oven at five hundred degrees.
A woman I once knew how to love cared for the pan, she made a gift of its gleam.
Worried about ruining it, I made bacon three successive mornings—
above the oven the blueblack bat hangs by its wing.
It shines when I wake, and it shines while I sleep.
Only then do I forgive all I’ve been given. [End Page 152]
Derek J.G. Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He is an mfa candidate at UMass Boston. His poems are published or forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Salamander, H_NGM_N, The Cortland Review, and Best New Poets 2013, among others.