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My mom reconstructed our lives from junk.
Unbleached cardboard Orisha beaded masks,
Glass-shard mosaics of proud Mary’s face,
A twisted crown of bottle caps and barbed wire,
Found relics, littered our tar-paper house,
Each objet d’art, a fetish, meant to stave
The shame of being poor. We ate, each night,
On painted plates of resurrecting suns.
She formed so much what others tossed away.
Now I scrounge through virtu and bric-a-brac,
The scattered trifles of remembrances,
To find her, traceless, gone. My soul sets bare.
Unfit to curate memory, I house
No rags, no cracked cups, no heart, fit for pawn.

Richard Stimac published over thirty poems in Burningword, Clackamas, Faultline, Havik (Second Place 2021 Poetry Contest), Michigan Quarterly Review, Penumbra, Salmon Creek Journal, Wraparound South, and others, along with flash prose in Paperbark, and an article on Willa Cather in The Midwest Quarterly.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN