ribbons valeie
Revelation in Retail
by Andrea Potos

They told me to leave the register;
I wandered gladly to the ribbon aisle,
to replenish all the spools where I could.
At my feet, a box of overstock.
I stood there, struck
by all the hues, announcing
their presence—
red like the pith of each rose
in Queen Mary’s garden,
silver sheened like etched
lightning in late summer.
And the green—oh the green—
the forest I once dream-walked
through and thought I had lost.
And then the ivory, gleaming
like the insides of a shell, or the pearlescent
sky on that morning my daughter
first arrived in this world.

“Revelation in Retail” appears in the author’s collection Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books, 2021).

Photo by Valeie. 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem celebrates one moment in an otherwise tiring and rather monotonous day working as a temporary employee during the holiday season one year. Suddenly I was surrounded by color and beauty, and I felt myself enlivened and refreshed by beauty.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Potos is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Marrow of Summer (Kelsay Books), Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) and An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry, Ireland).  Her poems can be found widely in print and online.  A new collection, entitled Her Joy Becomes, is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in fall 2022.