Author’s Note: “Ribbon Room” not only chronicles a trip into the Iowa countryside to buy groceries, it is a record of a trip back in time for my inner child who is simultaneously in the fatherly care of myself. “I bought a bag/of licorice pipes from their candy counter,/a grown man thinking he was seven again…” May we all make such gentle journeys with ourselves.
At the Amish Store there is a room filled
with fabric and ribbons. Some women still sew
clothes from scratch, meaning they cut
the fabric and manufacture right in their own homes
while tea water boils and someone lifts
the lid off a jar of potpourri, heavy
on the rose and cinnamon oil. I drove
to the store in my car down a ribbon
of pavement. I looked in my rear view
and I could see the 21st century recede.
I did not own a relativity cube,
so I could not leap dimensions like some of the Amish
do in their buggies. But the smell of their store
took me back five decades, no small
accomplishment. I bought a bag
of licorice pipes from their candy counter,
a grown man thinking he was seven again,
accompanied by my own body,
which served as a surrogate father
who paid for what I wanted at the cash register.
I passed through the ribbon room
looking for what, for whom? My grandmother
would buy fabric and make me pajamas,
for example, but I did not find my grandmother
in the ribbon room. I had a long chat
with my father on the drive back
to the 21st century, meaning I muttered
things to myself as the landscape darkened
and deer started to mill about
on the shoulder of the highway
and search for the brightest point.
Rustin Larson’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, and North American Review. He won 1st Editor’s Prize from Rhino and was a prize winner in The National Poet Hunt and The Chester H. Jones Foundation contests. A graduate of the Vermont College MFA in Writing, Larson was an Iowa Poet at The Des Moines National Poetry Festival, and a featured poet at the Poetry at Round Top Festival. Website: RustinLarson.wordpress.com.
Delmarva Review publishes compelling new prose and poetry selected from thousands of submissions annually. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it receives partial financial support from individual contributions and a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The review is available worldwide from Amazon.com and other major online booksellers and specialty regional bookstores. For more information about the authors, see the website: www.DelmarvaReview.org
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