Judy Kronenfeld


The conveyer pole seems to belong
to a dreary sweatshop where money and labor
are clocked­-with its small discolored numbered
notches below. Wearing an undershirt
flowered with holes, pop works the press
in the back.

But mom touches a button
and the clothes in their flashing plastic sheen
swish forward, swaying, like a chorus line
from the wings, knees lifting
little sequential white-water rushes:

The guayabera shirt, clean-breasted,
with stalwart alforzas;

the pathetically spotless
faded pink blouse, shoulders
padded, sleeves puffed;

the hound’s tooth trousers, pliable,
soft-­belt-loops married
to ankles, pockets

the uniforms of nurses, cops,
soldiers, free
of blood.

Now the numbers seem to be
future slots in

and my bodiless clothes
as mom presents them--
all potential,
all redemption.

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of two books and two chapbooks of poetry, the most recent being Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize (Litchfield Review Press, 2008). Her poems, as well as the occasional short story and personal essay have appeared in numerous print and online journals including Calyx, Cimarron Review, The American Poetry Journal, Natural Bridge, The Hiram Poetry Review, The Portland Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Poetry International, The Disquieting Muses Quarterly Review, The Women’s Review of Books and The Pedestal, as well as in a dozen anthologies or textbooks, including Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California, edited by Christopher Buckley and Gary Young (Greenhouse Review Press/Alcatraz Editions, 2008) and Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, edited by Holly Hughes (Kent State University Press, 2009). She is also the author of a critical study: KING LEAR and the Naked Truth (Duke U.P., 1998). She is Lecturer Emerita in the Department of Creative Writing, at the University of California, Riverside.

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