Sandra McPherson

Archaic Rayon Kamehameha
January 24, 2019 McPherson Sandra

Archaic Rayon Kamehameha


for my dad and Rilke


Blue eyes like dusty Santa Rosa plums,

And his fabulous head

In Santa Rosa



I put a shirt on that remembered torso

And there’s no place it does not see me

From across the room — .

I’m its heiress.


He kept a Scottie dog candle, never lit.

Chenille letters he’d lettered in, restrained and shining.

Loins prudent, never shown.  Almost didn’t procreate.

But once, the telltale cadence of that double bed.


At the end he told me, Change your life,

We always do what we must.  And never, never . . . hesitate!

Sandra McPherson’s 21st book, Quicksilver, Cougars, and Quartz, is forthcoming in 2018 from Salmon Poetry Press. She is retired from teaching 23 years at the University of California at Davis and 4 years at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Among her earlier collections, 5 were published by by Ecco, 3 by Wesleyan, and 2 by Illinois.