April 23, 2008 New York Public Library, Mulberry Branch From the Academy Audio Archive

Primogeniture

Julie Agoos
Someone put that basket under the dresser.
Chose to.  Bent.  Kicked it maybe.
Not the first time, it's spent
years there, unthought of; only some time out
Of exile chasing a life
in the sun.  The blond wood is well-stained
for all that.  It has held sandwiches, beer, a knife,
sunscreen and clippers.  Diapers.  Once,
a specimen of toadstool that ate that hole
right through the end.  But it was strong enough!
I remember it full of gloves and a Peterson's Guide, 
peonies roughly shoved through the upright handles.
And her hand pulling the weight, and the shadow it cast
on the terrace—like a sundial—
a penny from the war lay in the fretwork,
I remember that, working its way in or out—
And, lifting it from her, the light
Weight that made my hand feel light.
That's just as clear today as when
she came in from the garden late
and put that burden down right here.

From Property by Julie Agoos. Copyright © 2008 by Julie Agoos. Published by Ausable Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

From Property by Julie Agoos. Copyright © 2008 by Julie Agoos. Published by Ausable Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Julie Agoos

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