Arts & Culture » Culture

American Life in Poetry

comment

Those big cherry-flavored wax lips that my friends and I used to buy when I was a boy, well, how could I resist this poem by Cynthia Rylant of Oregon?

Wax Lips

Todd's Hardware was dust and a monkey —

a real one, on the second floor —

and Mrs. Todd there behind the glass cases.

We stepped over buckets of nails and lawnmowers to get to the candy counter in the back, and pointed at the red wax lips, and Mary Janes, and straws full of purple sugar.

Said goodbye to Mrs. Todd, she white-faced and silent, and walked the streets of Beaver, our teeth sunk hard in the wax, and big red lips worth kissing.

 

"Wax Lips" by Cynthia Rylant from WAITING TO WALTZ. Copyright (c) 2001 by Cynthia Rylant. Reprinted with permission of the author, whose most recent book of poetry is "Ludie's Life," Harcourt, 2006. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.