The Victorian Age by Karin Gottshall

One thousand lockets minus a lace handkerchief
equals a flock of passenger pigeons, each
carrying a Valentine heart. Seven hundred

ladies’ gloves plus a fishing village
amounts to one temperamental swan and a missing
engagement ring. The alphabet backwards

equals the cemetery on the hill. Marzipan
equals almonds, eggs, sugar, and a scullery maid
weeping into her apron. We’ve lost count

of cravats, hair brooches, and riding boots, traded
a deck of cards for two gentlemen playing
at charades. Top hats can be added to tapioca—

flavor with rum. Two hundred and fifty
petticoats multiplied by twelve chimneysweeps
equals a shattered femur. One locomotive

plus a dozen headmasters comes to a bakery
on Easter morning: hot cross buns with currants.
A dirge equals a dirge. Twenty-seven

daguerreotypes times three overwrought aviaries
is a solar eclipse. Christmas divided by deep mourning
equals burnt porridge. Thirteen hundred orphans left over.

From: https://augurybooks.com/2-poems-by-karin-gottshall/

Date: 2010

By: Karin Gottshall (19??- )

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