Grandma Jenny’s China
Stacked on a shelf in the pantry
of my mother’s kitchen, a bouquet
first refused by her two sisters,
then three granddaughters reluctant to claim
dainty blue flowers that must be hand-washed.
Fragile as an old woman’s bones,
dinner plates separated by sleeves of cardboard,
dessert dishes encircled with a thin gold band, smooth
as my grandmother’s wedding ring.
The owner of Main Street Antiques
gestures toward displays of family china,
shelves piled with dramas and dreams,
shakes his head, pats my shoulder as I close
the lid, lift the box from his counter.
Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Switchback, I-70 Review, Gargoyle, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, and second-place in poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014). Nina is a founding member of the TransCanal Writers (Five Bridges, A Literary Anthology).