Merchant Town in Mud Season

By Mollie Chandler

It rains. An old tin bucket on the bar
Is catching all the drops. The thirsty men
Dip their cups and pull them up, full up,
With rusty garnish on the rim. And down
The thin and wooden hatch to their gullets,
Some tinny rain in little metal cups.

The women hold their skirts and brooms. So far
The dirty floor is dirt. The ottomans,
The table legs, the mud climbs up and up
The heirlooms generations handed down.
All the furniture afloat on acrid water,
And not even the rain can clean it up.

The women ask at night for wooden floors.
The thirsty men don’t hear. Their dreams are dry.

"Cruise the Puddles" by Colin and Sarah Northway

“Cruise the Puddles” by Colin and Sarah Northway


Mollie Chandler is a student in Lesley University’s MFA program and a teaching assistant at Suffolk University, where she organizes student readings and open mics. She has published work in the latest issue of The Critical Pass Review and has work forthcoming in Empty Sink Publishing and The Merrimack Review.