Skiing the Yard Sale by June Sylvester Saraceno

Retelling the story, I’m too embarrassed to name

the bunny hill where I lay splayed like a rag doll,

a trail of gear marking the tumble of my undoing.


Endless equations of people dangled on the lift above,

suspended and swaying, their skis forming X’s V’s

and 11’s over my face. My third day on skis,

this view was new to me. Flushed, I considered

my own overexposed angles, the new geometry of me:

one leg pinned, two arms in awkward slashes against the snow,

taking a beat before heaving up the sum of my parts

to gather what I had lost on the hill above me

— a pole, a ski, hat, sunglasses, another pole, ski…


How lucky it seemed then when someone yelled

“YARD SALE!” above the shushing of upright skiers.

I was grateful for anything that would distract the eyes

from my awkward arrangement on the snow.


Even the amplified laughter and smattering

of applause was not enough to clue me in

that my public unpinning had been heralded on high

just in case anyone might have looked the other way.


June Sylvester Saraceno
_MG_2958 (1)June Sylvester Saraceno is the author of the poetry collection Altars of Ordinary Light, with a second book, Of Dirt and Tar, forthcoming from Cherry Grove in spring 2014. She is English program chair at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe. For more information visit