Tomorrow's Mourning

Sally Ashton

There is a sorrow that comes before
sorrow comes, for what will be

lost, the way a baby enters the world
and bursts into tears.  The way

an old woman polishes silver and
puts it away.  A dog gnaws a bone

growling to himself.  Well-worn
shoes gape, mouth their silent lament.

Look in a drawer for a matching sock
and sorrow is there, clean, folded neatly on top.

You want to slip your arms in the sleeves,
pull it over your head of course it fits,

how light easily bends when it passes
through water.  How even in July

some store in town will run an ad
in the local paper, "Back to School Sale"

and in front of the full-length mirror you turn
to see how sorrow drapes in the back,

tug at its hem and smile at your reflection. .

Sally Ashton

Sally is editor of the DMQ Review, an online journal that features both poetry and art.   Her recent poetry and reviews have appeared in Hotel Amerika, LIT, Poet Lore, Another Chicago Magazine, and Sentence: a journal of prose poetics, among others. A chapbook, These Metallic Days, is forthcoming February 2005 from Main Street Rag (