undigested beauty

green tray

Any minute the snow will fall. Living here you learn to glance at the northwestern sky to gauge how much time before the front blows in.  And yet, the car in front of me, a once-blue-gone-oxidized-silver Chrysler LeSomething, has a box spring and mattress, uncovered, strapped (with one length of rope) across its roof. It is bouncing, the car, east through downtown. I want to watch and so I follow at a discreet distance in my winter-front-proofed Derby truck. Ready for anything. And yet, what I don’t have and what I want is what the Chrysler driver has: a disregard for fronts blowing in.


The way red is important to the overall scheme of every other color. Red is how yellow feels getting her hand stamped at the county fair.


The things we know but don’t experience. An astronaut’s sun: our star burning in a black sky. Of course, they’d fly over thunder clouds.

Transpose: Crack the earth and swallow.


When I was three, my Irish uncles showed up at the back door to help our family move. Mom remembers baby socks drying on a rack; rack strapped to the hood of an uncle’s car. Socks flapping.

We moved one block away: from Chicago Avenue to Garnet Avenue in Butte, a copper mining town. The open-mine pit later engulfed both of those streets and we moved again. And again.

I remember sleeping/waking in the bottom bunk bed, the bed swaying as a crew of uncles moved the bed in one piece into someone’s dump truck. My brothers and I holding on for the ride.

Someone handed us pancakes. We held them in our hands, pancakes rolled around a smear of apple butter.



About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

14 responses to “undigested beauty

  1. Beautiful indeed. And such details. I was driving the other day past a car with a mattress on top. Looked precarious to me. It was. I barely escaped being hit by a flying mattress. No one was hurt. But I don’t think the mattress survived.

    • redmitten

      kathleen, what is your term…coincidency? flying mattress week! in my early years of marriage, we once hauled a brand new couch home on the roof of my old rambler, Two Tone. also managed to get a dryer into the back seat. oh, the days of flying out the door!

  2. This tells me so much about a particular moment. I’m right there and at that age, too.

    • redmitten

      consuelo, i often think/feel you and are are often at the same age frequently. (all over the place). so glad to hear this placed you there with me.

  3. Sherry, another gem. Those pancakes, the bed in the truck, life’s odd turns. Marvelous piece. (Loved the tiles in the photo, too.) Hugs. Karla

    • redmitten

      karla- those pancakes, yes. i didn’t realize back then, but over the years those pancakes and the way they were presented to us to eat fills me with nostalgia. happy to hear you like the tiles! xos

  4. Katy

    I want to watch and so I follow at a discreet distance in my winter-front-proofed Derby truck. Ready for anything.

    I was laughing at this, so funny. The architect who drew my little cottage has become a friend. He sent me a text yesterday…a picture he took on the highway of a car with a washer and dryer strapped to the top of it. lol
    Why did he know that I would love that. 🙂

    • redmitten

      katy- that is so great! sounds like you two have become friends. and yes, you would love the washer/dryer on top of a car. where there is a will, there is a way!

  5. i sincerely wish that i could make a comment deserving of this post, your writing is a joy to read. i wish too that i could be more like that driver, living in the moment.

    thank you for the truly lovely comment you left for me. xo lori

    • redmitten

      lori, so lovely to hear from you. your blog resets my day every time i visit. you have such a warm, round glow and i love the way you share. xos

  6. Rose Hunter

    Yes, the disregard for the fronts blowing in. It’s like disinterested versus uninterested maybe. I mean they are going to blow in anyway, regardless of what I think of them or how I oppose them, eh. May as well bounce around, uncovered, unstrapped. But then again gauging and following at a discreet distance seem ok too. …
    I took some pics of my socks on the line but they didn’t turn out. They never do. I keep trying them though, every so often.
    Gorgeous pic also. 🙂

    • redmitten

      rose, love that–the difference between disinterest and uninterest. and yes the front is going to blow in no matter what your interest is or isn’t. and so, hang your socks on the line. try another photo!

  7. Naw, it’s yellow happying red up. Always. Ask the driver of that old car. That’s how you get to disregard the weather, ride over the thunder clouds, taste the apple butter between the pancakes before the whole mess slides into the dirt. You need a pair of yellow socks. Not orange. I still owe you a pair. Love that pic.

    • redmitten

      laurie- yellow socks. i am counting on them now. and i like what you said about riding over the thunder clouds- that was what i was thinking, too.

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