White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Jenn Blair
Jenn Blair is from Yakima, WA. Currently, she teaches at the University of Georgia. She has published in Copper Nickel, The Tusculum Review, and Innisfree Journal among others. Her chapbook "All Things are Ordered" is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
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Jenn Blair

The Marquis


First an explosion of commemorative doilies,

Mason jars, platters, pitchers and ebony snuff

boxes. Then Father pausing over the paper,

mother exclaiming in turn, and I,

in the corner, willing myself to be calm.

Who didn’t know of his exploits?

But none studied them as I. Buried

deep in the mountains outside Nashville,

our town was too small for a visit but we

would be graced with a passing through.

Eye on a jar of honey, the front of a hymnbook—

in all things outward, attentive but inwardly!

inwardly a hiss and a boil, a secret world

full of treasures culled through while scraping

lard off cheesecloth, sweeping the porch

with the rough whiskers of a willow broom.

The ball where I presented my card of admission,

my muslin skirts matching his gallant vest—

the quickstep and candle-light, the tremor.



Jenn Blair

I had scouted out the fence gap where,

hidden amidst the clover and thistle,

I would see the four grey horses, perhaps

a glove. Some nights I even allowed myself

to imagine the inexpressible delight of a face.


But that afternoon she fell in the street. Old Miss

Watson who nobody ever loved. And she made

my shoulder her crutch and insisted I walk her

to Jones General where our young doctor

rented the upper rooms. She smelled like

turpentine and leek and my cheeks burned

hot at the indignation of having a family name

and God I had to honor, or else face the sharp

woman’s tongue and the many angels weeping.


I missed the glimpse.

The moment where my path was to

intersect with another one

of utmost importance.

It was the hardship of my life.



Copyright © Jenn Blair. White Whale Review, issue 2.1

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