Things English Aristocrats Kept in the Attic by Amanda Eagleson



I’m pealing an idiom
language usually diced into the dish for flavor

I lost my marbles

Think back to games played near my front stoop
In the Netherlands

Knikkers (Pronounce the K), in Dutch
My first love of onomatopoeia
Sounded like
the strike

After you

Knuckle Down (Don’t pronounce the K), in American English
This is essential to winning the game
Focus only on the goal, because you can will yourself out of opaque

I’m pealing an idiom
Its skin, falls back
tears the color oxblood
This is what I paint my nails when I want to feel strong
So, I should feel strong already
I know the recipe is in my veins
and not written in a big book of idioms


Unused pieces of furniture were once called lumber. These were the things English aristocrats kept in the attic; cracked heavily framed mirrors, torn chaise lounges, dusty footstools, and broken first wives

Lumber became slang for knowledge
(you know, unused pieces of furniture English aristocrats kept in the attic)

This meaning would shift to wits once it crossed the Atlantic
around the same time the?slang for furniture shifted to marbles

So, really, I lost my lumber

Which offers the calming comfort of not being a game I should have been trying to win

But the very human habit of misplacement and injury

I can taste hope in this meaning

Can find the dusty forgotten shelf
clean it, tighten up the screws, and throw some books on it
Proudly display it in my living room and say “Look”
“See how good I am at fixing things”

Amanda Eagleson

Amanda Eagleson

Amanda Eagleson’s poetry has appeared in Prairie Journal. She released her first chapbook Cinderella Sleepwalks in 2016. She lives, works, and writes in Vancouver, British Columbia, which sits on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Amanda Eagleson

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