the Stickley brothers

five humble boys

from Osceola, Wisconsin

began making furniture

at a factory belonging to their uncle

in Brandt, Pennsylvania, 1877


the existing works of

Gustav, Albert, Charles, Leopold,

and John George

are honored today in museums

around the world

for their enduring American


unsurpassed quality

and utilitarian charm


there exists a Gustav Stickley sideboard

at the Cincinnati Art Museum

which once resided inside

The White House

in the early twentieth century


one is never to touch

anything in a museum

everyone knows this


but the docent was drowsy


unable to keep his eyes fixed

on my circular pitter pat

through the presidential gallery


the magical black

marvelous mahogany piece


a most alluring


brass lock


eyeing the invitation

for the longest moment


i could not resist

sticking my finger

inside the keyhole

of the Stickley

smiling gloriously

at my wicked little sin