• Diorama

    Michael Shewmaker

    Winter 2017


    Beneath the banister,
    along the wall, two racks of shoes

    and a tall black grandfather clock.
    Its face reads eight o’clock.

    It chimes. A wooden woman
    walks a small mechanical plank.

    A row of portraits scales the stairs,
    each larger than the last.


    Greens and yellows. A man leans
    hard on the bathroom door.

    Covered with a ringed quilt,
    the bed is meticulously made:

    too many pillows. Matching lamps
    light the matching nightstands.

    His hand jostles the knob.
    Everything is in its place.


    In the center of the room,
    a table left in ruin—

    a meal heaped on three plates,
    a fourth shattered on the floor.

    Milk trickles from a tiny mug

    Michael Shewmaker is the recent winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and author of Penumbra (forthcoming from Ohio University Press). He is a Jones Lecturer in poetry at Stanford University.

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