Plain China

Keeping House

by Madeline Thieringer · College of Charleston
Habitat: Community Conflict, Beau Sinchai · University of Minnesota

Calendula, beeswax, jingle shells. The tinge
of harmonica swells that find the blues, over-watered geranium leaves.
Yellow bits of rosemary: they were supposed to thrive on neglect.


Dandelion greens: the bitterness boiled out
three times over. These golden days. The yellow in a blue
cement stoop. Heels always in socks in shoes, in socks in bed.


The tips of Paperwhite greens that have prolonged December.
The underbelly of the moon, a jar of uncooked chickpeas, half & half
crusted under the cap of the carton.


A crackling cassette tape, combustible Christmas
trees. A warm morning: more
yellow waking up too warm. Sleep in the corners of our eyes.


Working light bulbs, withered kale, a river
with cluttered and oily foam. Caulk in bathtub crevices,
an inner elbow, the strain for affection.

About the Author

Madeline Thieringer · College of Charleston

Recent graduate Madeline Thieringer lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where she is settling. She continues to learn from the people and place around her. Her poem was first published in Miscellany, The College of Charleston’s literary journal.

About the Artist

Beau Sinchai · University of Minnesota

Beau Sinchai graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Design in architecture and fine arts. She is currently studying 3D design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Much of her work, both design and art, is created in response to social issues. Her other work has been published in the Minnesota Daily and the Ivory Tower (where this painting first appeared), and has won a national competition in Thailand.