Milk Can by Don Kimball

Milk Can

As if she’s heard intruders at the door,
but would not trust the lock to keep her safe,
should they come bursting in – who knows what for –
the widow, clutching at her flannel robe,
takes hold of an old milk can – like her kitchen,
a handy catch-all; this object that cannot
object to her unladylike abuse –
tilts it back and slowly wheels it sideways
(as she once saw her husband deal with barrels),
steers it through a narrow passageway,
between a closet, some unforgiving stairs,
clear to the entry, where she lets it go,
wedges it tight against the door, says, There! –
as if she’s finally got that big old house,
with all its rooms, secured against desire;
as if, by blocking doors, she’s doused the fire.

Don Kimball is the author of the chapbook, Skipping Stones (Pudding House Publications, 2008). A second chapbook, Journal of a Flatlander, has just been accepted by Finishing Line Press. Don's poetry has appeared in The Formalist, The Lyric, The Blue Unicorn, and various other journals and anthologies. In 2007, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and won two first prizes and a second prize in national contests sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. A retired family therapist, Don currently volunteers at the Peabody Home in Franklin as well as hosts the monthly poetry readings at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord.

"Milk Can" is dedicated to Don's mother, Ruth Deaton Kimball, who once performed the act that sparked this poem. It was originally published in The Formalist, in 2004, and then appeared in The Powow River Anthology (Ocean Publishing 2006).

Copyright 2004; originally printed in The Formalist. Poem and photo are used here with the permission of the poet, all rights reserved.


alice fogel said...


Ted Henn. said...

Hello Don,
Well done! This poem has a very substantial feel; it uses very solid-sounding words. Congratulations,

Pat said...

I love this Don! Beautiful.

Pat Fargnoli