Absence of Gold

Tonya Northenor


I wonder when walking around the house nude

becomes not a statement, but a way to get

from the bathroom to the underwear drawer.

When does it happen that house slippers

are no longer mated for life,

that fabric gives at its favorite bits of skin.

That I will become my mother

never turning one old pear away without a nibble,

for certainty, that this cannot in fact be eaten?

Facing stains the way one drives to work;

facing love the way one faces winter.

A familiar sweater to wear to the store.


Tonya Northenor lives on her family’s fifth-generation farm in north-central Kentucky and is an English Instructor at Owensboro Community and Technical College.  She earned an MFA from the University o f Memphis, and her poems have appeared in CALYX, Cider Press Review, South Dakota Review and other journals.