“In the Cupboard,” a poem that Evie Groch of El Cerrito wrote and entered in the San Mateo County Fair poetry contest, swept its division, winning first place and best of show.
In the Cupboard
On the table among the New Gamboge,
Winsor Lemon, and Permanent Rose
lie brushes pointed and rounded
near water cups of Prussian Blue
and Jasper Green.
We paint with broad strokes
and detailed attention
the broccoli heads and tangelos
slinking across the models’ table.
We remember to color wash
and define by negative space,
we focus on the table
and suffer no distractions
Until the teacher opens the cupboard
to reach the empty yogurt containers
and I espy a pair of red and white stilettos –
stilettos with 4-inch heels, which rest perpendicularly
on the shelf and whisper for someone to set them free,
take them out and dance hard.
I cannot shift my eyes.
Broccoli can wait.
Who left the shoes?
In a cupboard of discards which
patiently wait their turn to prance and spin,
they plead for mercy and move me like no
— Evie Groch