Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

My Grandmother's Dresses

Laura Sobbott Ross

were fields of calico, hemmed

in stitches as resolute as fence posts.

At night the fabric of her porch screens

held darkness and moth wings,

the melancholy keening of the bayou—

its scrim of algae divining

white perch and moonlight.


The rocking chair kept a rhythm

like a heartbeat. We salted

our apples, dealt old decks of cards,

felt the river sigh at the lip of the levee.

My grandmother reminding me

never to discount prayer or thimbles.

Her fingers worn from mending seams.


Who took down the wash the day she died?


Yards of tiny cotton flowers stirring

the way the starlings in the chimney flue

fluttered from their summer nest

toward a light implausible as a swatch of silk.


September, an opalescent shade of blue,

thread the color of smoke unknotting into wings.


Laura Sobbott Ross is an architectural designer. She was recently nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize, and has poetry published in New Millennium Writings, The Arkansas Review, The White Pelican Review, Kalliope, The Caribbean Writer, and the Baker’s Dozen Literary Review, among several others. She also won first place for poetry in contests for the 2006 Mount Dora, Florida Literary Festival and the Great Blue Beacon.

© Laura Sobbott Ross

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2008