Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
Tell a friend about this page
Issue 101, Oct – Dec 2016
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130

Kelly Cherry's comment on "Among the Things You Deserve"

Here we have a poem that is cheerful, generous, funny, sweet, loving. In short, it is irresistible. I am reminded of "This Is Just to Say," the William Carlos Williams poem in which he admits that he has "eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox. . ." The list of things the "you" deserves is both short and commodious. It amuses and reminds, while it also delineates the woman who is "you" and the good and noticing friend who wants her to have everything she deserves. The precision of the list ensures our attention and respect for the friend. The final line tells us that the woman deserves "[a]n apology from god," and upon reading that, we grasp the depth of the poem, the friend's ferocity, and the seriousness of the situation.
Emily Ransdell
Runner Up in the 2016 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry

Judged by Kelly Cherry, former Poet Laureate of Virginia and author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems (LSU Press)


Followed by judge's comment and author bio

Among the Things You Deserve
          — after Dan Albergotti


Perfectly pruned rhododendrons, 
real cream in your coffee, clean sheets, 
neighbors who know when to leave.  
All your photos arranged in albums 
by date and occasion, pockets for that kimono 
you never got around to finishing last year.  
Butter on sweet corn, a break from this heat, 
nights of deep sleep with dreams 
of your sisters who are gone.  
People Magazine in your mailbox, 
more movies with Paul Newman young, 
more foot rubs from your husband, more adoration 
from the dog. Cold gin. Rhubarb pie.  
Hair thick as ever. Campouts with the children, 
the rest of this summer, then another 
and another, no wig stand on the dresser.  
An apology from god. 

Emily Ransdell holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Montana. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Tar River Poetry, Hamilton Stone Review, and will be featured on Ted Kooser’s nationally syndicated "American Life in Poetry." She was a semi-finalist for the 2016 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize from Ruminate Magazine. Emily divides her time between Camas, Washington, and the North Oregon Coast.