Green Hills Literary Lantern



Cleaning Out the Cultch Drawer



It’s only the flat, broad box it bears,

braced between its tapered legs, that keeps

the enameled kitchen table clear:


the debris that would clutter

its burnished ivory face is stowed below

to abide in darkness, awaiting


those seldom triumphs when it obliges

with that sole needed thing, that small, rare

apology for its poplar-edged bedlam.


Full bouquets of pens and pencils

are splayed across the drawer’s congested bed

among buttons, a spool of thread, and other


homesick notions. Unpackaged batteries,

their virtue now in doubt, roll across

keys dreaming of long-lost locks,


collide with birthday candle nubs

that vague nostalgia alone has spared.

And when it grows to overflowing,


the household cants, careens towards

the weight and the draw of that vital drawer,

and the dread of the small vault’s culling.




Kevin Casey has contributed poems to recent editions of Grasslimb, Frostwriting, Words Dance, Canary, decomP, and other publications.  A graduate of UMass, Amherst and the University of Connecticut, his chapbook The Wind Considers Everything was recently published by Flutter Press.  He currently teaches literature at a small university in Maine, where he enjoys fishing, snowshoeing and hiking.