She always kept olives in a glass jar
In the cabinet above the pantry,
Amid the fluff and dust of decades. Tar
Paper lived elsewhere, with the iron gantry
For lifting meats, the turpentine and wax.
Everything else she threw in the dark cave
Of the understairs; all things that would tax
Her strength she threw on the floor, and this gave
The house the appearance of a swallow’s
Nest built from found goods. But always she had
Irises, quivering on a cold rad.