A poem by David O’Meara

The following is an excerpt from Riddle Fence #2 (coming soon). Over the next little while, we’ll be adding more previews from our second issue; hope you’ll visit us again.

ROOT CELLAR
David O’Meara

The latch is still black. Just
a pinch with your thumb, and you’re in.
The old paint swells and flakes
with damp, though the sunk trough
along the walls where the rain
drained is dry as ash.
That pipe was cemented up
when new drainage was dug.
There’s hardly any light, even
with the bulb, its chain
a long thin strip off some rag,
and the one window long since
crusted with dirt. What is it
about these artificial depths
that turns the light yellow, almost
swallowing it? We’re tourists
to our past for the little
we come here now, where once
the daily boot-falls
descended for potatoes, turnips
or a dry stick of wood.
Beet and relish jars were stored
where these empty shelves jut out,
level and braced on wedges, then
lined with folded newspaper.
I tear some down.
The date’s survived, one from
my childhood. But no news,
just the faded weather page, its
sweeping lines and cartoon clouds.
The numbers predict tomorrow
will be cold, with a chance of rain.
I wonder if it fell.

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