Need Comes Down Like A Mallett

And the town crier cries la localende! This is one of the stories where a stranger

        comes to town. A stranger with a stranger tool.

Come down from the hill freckled with mustard gesare. You know the stuff, Mara

        how it explodes in middle spring. I met her that day on the footpath

with the gesare glazing her boots. I lived in the town and was fetching insu.

        I was apprentice to the town crier and his horses needed bathing.

Their names were Jorsan and Clardet, though I called them Em and Dat. I would

        have called the mallet an iresla. For its lipped handle and wide zoctite.

She showed us how the mallet could sharpen our usepilas. Spit fire, even. Sound

        the juegun so it rang through the valley. Mara, there are some things better

shown than cried, is what she said before I offered her the insu. Before taking

        the bucket in her hands, she asked me to hold the mallet. I grabbed for

the handle and the zoctite and stood there. The slarn was open. Its steady trickle

        joined the earth to the rock to the island turning up at my feet.

November 14, 2022

Lauren Mallett

Lauren Mallett’s (she/her/hers) poems appear in Poetry Northwest, Puerto del Sol, The Seventh Wave, Salamander, Passages North, and other journals. She lives on Clatsop land of Oregon’s north coast.

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