Avalanche

by Elizabeth Edelglass


My mother flurried tissues,
like snow, dusting
every couch,

hidden beneath
every cushion, packed
in every pocket,

buried in every purse,
banking lacy flakes—
forgotten coin in corner crevice.

A slip of white
floe’d from every sleeve
at her wrist, as a wayward

bra strap might seduce
from a young woman’s
shoulder. I, the young woman,

repelled, averted my superior
gaze. Now I hoard tissues
in every pocket,

use and re-use,
boxes stockpiled
in the basement, toilet tissue

mountained
under every sink, towel paper
crumpled in blanc balls

dusting the kitchen
counter like snow,
extra rolls shoveled under the bed.

Shortages now, supermarket shelves
plowed barren. I never prized
the other shortages my mother

must have lived through, treasuring
her hoarded tissues,
fragile, fleeting as melted snow.



Elizabeth Edelglass is a fiction writer and book reviewer drawn to poetry during this year of isolation. While the media is flooded with year-end lists of 2020 horrors, Edelglass has discovered, through poetry, a few surprising personal notes of grace. Edelglass’s fiction has recently appeared in SixoldPrime Numbers Magazine, and New Haven Review. She has won the Reynolds Price Fiction Prize, The William Saroyan Centennial Prize, the Lilith short story contest, and the Lawrence Foundation Prize from Michigan Quarterly ReviewSurekha spent her formative years in the beautiful hills of Nilgiris before she moved to her hometown, Thalassery, to pursue a career in fine art. Her works have been in many exhibitions across India, and most recently to “Revived Emotions,” an international exhibition at Ratchademnoen Contemporary Art Centre, Bangkok. She served as the head designer for a leading Kerala based jewelery chain for 17 years, leaving behind an oeuvre of more than 3000 designs. Painting has always been her first love, exploring the moods of nature, and finding shades, colours, tones and textures in landscapes, especially focusing on her memories of Thalassery and Nilgiris.