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

simplicity

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

featured

a most alluring

perfect

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

.