Elizabeth Smither


When my father died we ate sandwiches.
On the day of the funeral a plate of sandwiches
before we went to the church, the cemetery.
What shall we have for dinner? Sandwiches.

I don’t remember the fillings. Ham or cheese?
Something mundane. Only the comforting bread
like mattresses pressed on grief
the small soft bites we took, the fine white bread

the crusts laid aside as if they were wearisome
or to eat them was greed. Cleaning of plates
was not in the prescription of those days
or taking the last crumb.

We grew thinner on days of sandwiches.
My black skirt hung loosely at the waist
and its deep box pleats strode forth
ahead of me, bolder than my feet.

Author’s Note


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