Issue 11, December 2013
{ Pastel on Fine Rag }
by Kathryn Weld
His thin script tallied mountains climbed, how long 
each child took to summit. We never touched 
his records. After he died, my mother led us 

to each nook, attic or closet where she stowed 
their treasures. In the walk-in cooler, a cardboard 
whiskey box held silver ashtrays, wrapped 

in newsprint, a bowl engraved June Sixteen 
Nineteen Fifty-one. She brushed the balls 
of camphor off the wool snowsuit she'd worn 

at two. Nothing thrown away. Andirons, 
taxidermy, a scruffy bighorn with glassy eyes, 
the broken stubs of my pastels. I wish 

you'd use them. I'd loved the clean expanse 
of unmarked paper—but each line, each smudge
of chalk was a tiny death. Instead I used

the diapers, remembering the girl who watched 
the ritual nappery: the brother talcumed 
and wriggling, the waffled folds, the bite of the pin.

Kathryn Weld is a mathematician and a poet living just north of New York City. She teaches at Manhattan College. She still spends summers in a rustic family home in the Adirondacks. She received her M.F.A. from Sewanee School of Letters and her Ph.D. (in Algebraic Topology) from the CUNY Graduate Center. She was a finalist in the Gearhart Poetry Contest.