Thursday, May 12, 2016

Anne Tibbitts writes

In a fortuitous turn of events, Anne suddenly had her 
vintage apron collection back in her hands.

  for ten years in a back room at spotted horse antiques
where Anne had gone crazy getting rid of stuff during 
fits of desperate generosity
And as she tries to open the clear sealed bag to do an 
inventory, time and time again the vibe gets so heavy 
she has to quickly shove them back in and zip closed
the heaviness of long locked away 
memories clamoring to get through
Banging faintly against the inside of her head
The wrinkled aprons 
Stare out the clear vinyl
Like foolish eyeballs
Bamboozled into thinking
They meant something 


  1. White Horse Antiques and Collectibles is located in De Soto, Missouri, about 45 miles south of St. Louis. The town is called "Fountain City" because of its numerous artesian wells. The area was first settled in 1803 by Isaac Van Metre, shortly after the US purchased the vast central part of the continent from France. The town was organized in 1857 and incorporated in 1869, named in honor of Hernando De Soto, who never visited the locale but explored much of the southwestern United States. After playing a prominent role, and enriching himself, in Spain's conquest of South America in the 1530s, he was named governor of Cuba, with orders to colonize North America within four years. His expedition of 620 men left Havana in May 1539 and landed in south Tampa Bay, traveled north along the Gulf of Mexico, and wintered at the main Apalachee settlement of Anhaica, about a mile east of Tallahassee, Florida. The following spring they went northeast through Georgia and on into the Carolinas and eastern Tennessee, then followed the Tennessee river into Alabama, before heading back toward Mobile Bay to meet resupply ships from Cuba. At Mauvila (or Mabila), a fortified city in southern Alabama, they were ambushed by the Mobilian tribe under chief Tuskaloosa, and de Soto retaliated by burning Mauvila; but over the 9 hour engagement, about 200 of his men were killed and 150 badly wounded, along with 2-6,000 natives. De Soto also lost 1/4 of his horses and most of his equipment. Fearing a recall if news of his dire situation reached Spain, he discontinued his march to the Gulf and wintered near Tupelo, Mississippi. In the spring, the Chickasaw rejected his demand that they provide 200 porters and attacked his camp, causing the loss of 40 more conquistadors and the rest of their equipment, but the Chickasaw let the survivors leave. On May 8, 1541, they reached the Mississippi river, spent a month constructing several floats, crossed the river near Memphis, Tennessee, then continued westward through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. They spent a difficult winter in Autiamique on the Arkansas river before moving to the Caddo River, where they clashed with the Tula in October 1541, perhaps near Caddo Gap, Arkansas. De Soto, at 42 years of age, died of a fever on May 21, 1542, in Guachoya
    on the Mississippi (near modern McArthur, Arkansas, or Ferriday, Louisiana). At the time of his death he owned four native, three horses, and 700 hogs. Luis de Moscoso Alvarado assumes command of the expedition. Dince de Soto had posed as an immortal sun go to gain their submission without having to resort to arms, de Morosco Alvarado kept his death a secret, hid his corpse in sand-weighted blankets, and sank it in the river during the night. The remnants of the expedition decided that building boats to navigate the Mississippi would be difficult and then sailing in the Gulf would be dangerous, so they marched southwest into Texas, where the native population was scarce and there were no villages to raid for food. Thus, they backtracked to the Mississippi; over the winter and spring they built brigantines, melting down their horse tackle and slave shackles to make nails for the boats, and finally sailed downriver in July. During the two-week voyage they were constantly harassed by the natives and lost 11 more men, and several more were wounded. When they reached the mouth, they sailed along the shoreline for 50 days until they arrived at a Spanish frontier village on the Pánuco river, where they spent another month before the 311 survivors proceeded to la Ciudad de Mexico. The expedition's failure led the Spanish government to concentrate its future settlement plans along the coast and in the west rather than the hinterlands of La Florida, a vacuum which the French were later to fill.

  2. I see many of my own experiences in this poem


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