Sarah Swinford

Second-Hand Stories

Go to the estate sale.
Swallow Finlandia, rose medallion,
church-hill-crunch chinoiserie.

Gather hand-me-downs like you are the little sister,
like each stranger’s vase
is an heirloom wedding ring.

Go. Claw at the dog hair in the carpet,
until you have wool for a gown, make it ’80s pop,
like the puffed sleeves you find while thrifting—

Sifting through pinked family photographs:
perms and mall bangs, sapphire eyeshadow,
ever borrowed, old, and blue—

Glaze, soft like the satin skin in your mother’s cupboard:
saucers untouched, teapots unfamiliar
with a water’s warmth.