KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Poem: 159 words [R]

Remember how droplets skittered the fry pan?

by Lynn Pattison

Heat changes everything. Onions turn savory,
morning glory climbs, bread dough left under white
kitchen towels swells and rises. The warmth
of my husband’s arms at night changes the way I look

back on the day. Heat rising from quarrels can curl
the old photo on the wall—Edith picking huckleberries
plumped to perfect in August Dog Days.
On the farm heat meant life in summer, determined

whether the pump froze in winter.
Heat was her medium: apple pie, strawberry
jam, johnnycake. She’d carry sweet rolls
down the road to a daughter, truck blueberry buckle

to church socials. Heat ruled Edith’s
life. She read temperatures like tea leaves.
Were spring nights warm enough for seedlings?
Was the baby’s forehead so hot the doctor must come?

Years monitoring canning kettle,
wood stove, flatiron. And later, last warmth
creeping from Herbert’s hand that winter, when
all the firewood in the world was not enough.


—Previously published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal (Volume 2, Issue 6); appears here with poet’s permission

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡