Her thin shoulders like sere hills roll
and shift beneath the flowered nightgown
as she presses the iron against dress sleeves,
searing creases in. Her fingers grip
the handle’s curve till blisters blaze and throb,
weep against the pressure of her thumb’s
narrowed web. Chokecherries strangle her
collar as the fiery chrysanthemums
bloom vivid round her waist, catching
weak sun through the yellowed muslin curtains
that waver and strain the breeze, pan
for bird song and bee drone, the mower’s whine
and cease. Against this day, she will—against
the ruck of tires passing—array herself.
Bryan Miller is a middle- and upper-school English teacher and freelance editor from Columbus, Ohio. Having earned his MA in English from the University of Kentucky in 2002 and his BA in creative writing and poetry from Murray State University in 1995, he has had poems and short stories published in 3Elements Literary Review, Blinders Journal, Extracts: Poetry and Short Story Anthology, and The Independent.