Having Just Met
by Laura Sobbott Ross
in memory of my grandparents
Between them, a myriad of broken shells—
pecans, a bowl of them to be exact. His hands,
and hers, foraging though what must have felt
like a thousand walls to open, small fruits
to be drawn out without their edges breaking.
At that point in both their lives, they were better
at casting aside the flaws, then focusing on perfection.
When she asked him if his wife had any jellies
or chickens she could exhibit at the county fair,
he told her he wasn’t married. That night,
at her booth, they talked about Mississippi,
the Pearl River, a vein running through them both.
That river was a wanton one, by that I mean,
a sandbar at every turn, by that I mean, hairpin,
her long, pale hair, a current released. When he asked
her to marry him, she said yes, by that she meant
the spring, by that she meant, June now or maybe
August. Maybe was a moon she couldn’t swallow,
a gravity to be exact. It was a tenuous light on
a fence she’d remember him leaning against
while he waited for her answer. So she gave in,
minded the store while he shaved, bought a dress
on the way to the Baptist Parsonage in Natchez.
Laura Sobbott Ross’s poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and appears in the Valparaiso Poetry Review, Florida Review, Columbia Review, Calyx, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, Cold Mountain Review and many others. Her chapbook, A Tiny Hunger, won a statewide contest from YellowJacket Press. She lives in Mount Dora, Florida. Read her previously published poem in Deep South here.