Brown like the mahogany pews in the Rectory
my mother used to polish
as a side job when I was four,
trailing behind her with a bucket
of Pine-sol–that clean burning smell
of brown sloshing bubbles.
Brown like the carpet squares she
single-handedly pieced together
in our low-income house on Hwy 2,
her Cat Stevens’ filling my soul
like water as I spin and tap
in my hand-me-down corduroys.
Brown like the two-door Dodge Monaco
I was conceived in.
Brown like the side of my
daddy’s Old Style beer cans.
Like the hue of bruises.
My mother’s eyes
like chocolate…or almost
more so a brown crayon–if
you pressed hard enough
she’d see you.
My father’s gravestone
covered in October’s wet leaves,
the damp bark, the muddy puddles,
the brown smell of change.
And today, my own eyes a living sepia
staring back at me.