Elizabeth Cook

Back to PoetryFolding Tablecloths

folding tablecloths

you’ll never be able to manage alone –
although there is a moment when I feel too keen,
and contemplate letting the other half trail on the floor.

but then I curtsey down and take it up –
step towards you in our do-si-do
raising my arms to meet yours.

we start smiling as the corners meet
beneath our fingertips and another second passes
holding hands beneath the linen.

then you decide to take up the burden
and I must step back to end the dance.


Talking About My Parents

These are my corpses.
I dust them off for new acquaintances –
prop them on a knee
like ventriloquist dummies,
talk for them, make them tell jokes.

All my craft cannot reanimate them,
and the audience is tired and unwilling –
so swiftly I put them away.

They sleep in such beautiful boxes –
one stone, one floral blue satin
covered with green grasses waving.
My diminished, polite little corpses.


Elizabeth Cook was born and raised in Madison, WI.  She attended Carroll University in Waukesha, WI where she discovered her love of poetry.  Her poems have appeared in Verse Wisconsin.  She enjoys writing about the Wisconsin landscape, as well as putting words to silent moments – a glance, a touch, a walk in the woods.

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