Sarah Carleton


I’m half a prune, no matter how
the spoon reflection smooths over

little rays from eye to temple,
earthworks across the forehead,

pond ripples spreading up my face.
I chase each slippery second, like trying

to snag dust motes with a tea strainer
and sort them into decorative tins.

Oh, toss the stove clock,
the measuring cup and the sieve

—it all comes down to dried fruit.
By fig reckoning, six decades mean

I’m sweeter and denser than before—
or maybe just harder to chew.

Sarah Carleton writes poetry, edits fiction, plays the banjo, and knits obsessively in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, Cider Press Review, The Wild Word, Valparaiso, Crab Orchard Review, and New Ohio Review. Sarah’s poems have received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her first collection, Notes from the Girl Cave, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Books.