Steven Winn


     In Welsh, a particular type of storage compartment; also, a hug

I like to think that every house
in Wales would have one,
a cupboard tucked below the stairs
as snug and sturdy as this clutch
of consonants, shorn of any
slurry vowels, that names it.

I see myself in there, packed
tight as Tetris pieces with
whatever things the Welsh
might box and store, knees
tugged up nearly to my nose,
silent and self-contained.

I haven't been to Wales and may
never go or know what those
little cabinets are really like.
Buggy crawl space? Lair
for blighted wizard boys?
The closet everyone forgets?

Tramp would go the feet above me,
up and down the stairs a dozen
times a day, voices rabbling in
a tongue so alien to me I'd hear it
just as noise, or maybe music,
the thrum of the unknown.

Steven Winn

has contributed poetry and fiction to Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Poet Lore, Southern Humanities Review, 32 Poems, Verse Daily, and many other journals. A San Francisco arts critic, he conducts interviews for City Arts & Lectures, heard on over 130 public radio stations.