Letter from the Velvet Ditch #4 by Danielle Sellers

                                                               I teach my daughter the art of vegetarianism,
                                                                          which cheese should be eaten 
                                                                          with which bread,

                                                               how ginger is a cure-all for stomach 
                                                               and heart pain.

                                                               It is good, at each day’s beginning and end,
                                                               to quiet the mind, to balance
                                                                          the vata.

                                                               Chopin’s preludes require a light hand
                                                                          and a tuned piano. 

                                                               At night, I read her Blake’s Songs
                                                                          of Experience, of Yeats’
                                                                          isles in water. 

                                                               She knows goodnight in French
                                                               and your grandmother’s German.

                                                               When she sleeps I clear the fruit, 
                                                               from the table
                                                               where we used to play Scrabble.

                                                               And sometimes at the sink I’m startled
                                                                          by the ghost of your hands on my waist. 

Danielle Sellers is originally from Key West, Florida. She has an MA from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of Mississippi where she held the Grisham Poetry Fellowship. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Subtropics, Smartish Pace, Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, 32 Poems, and elsewhere. Her book, Bone Key Elegies, was published in 2009 by Main Street Rag. She lives in Winter Springs, Florida, where she edits The Country Dog Review.

The food that gives her the most sustenance is “probably the day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. It’s got to be homemade white bread cut thick, slathered with mayo, turkey of course, jellied cranberry sauce from the can, and dressing. It reminds my of my childhood, my grandmother, all things that are good and holy.”

Back to Issue 4: Hungry Things

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