The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Goodbye Toothless House by Kelly Fordon

On the Train I Thought of Chagall

I saw a long line of cars.

I saw a big white house.

The ground was mottled

and abraded like

the back of a buffalo.

I saw a chicken coop,

a muddy ditch,

the padded cell

of the sky.

I saw a hunting blind,

ratcheting arms,

coal silos,

sand silos,

yards like ratty bath

mats, abandoned

sand boxes.

No green man.

No benevolent cow.

No villagers whistling

and hoisting sickles.

No multi-colored houses.

No woman waltzing

on the wind, Chagall.

It was the morning after,

the tough rows to hoe,

the scrub brush of babies

and midnight feedings,

Kansas before the witch’s

stockings and the wizard’s

charade. No tree of life,

just my chalky fingers

on the window pane,

just my face pressed

against the glass.

This selection comes from the poetry book, Goodbye Toothless House, available from KATTYWOMPUS PRESS.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Tierney Bailey.

Kelly Fordon is the author of three poetry chapbooks. The first one, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award and the latest one, The Witness, won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, was published by Kattywompus Press in February 2019. A new short story collection, I Have the Answer, will be published by Wayne State University in April 2020. She teaches at the College for Creative Studies, Springfed Arts, and InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.
Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney. 

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