Still

My poem “Still” was just published in Issue 28 of Damselfly Press’ online literary journal. I’m thrilled to be in this journal of talented women’s voices. Click the link, or check it out below!

Still

Soaping dishes in the kitchen sink, watching
light and wind filter through the stained-
glass chimes you hung out on the porch,
I think about the quiet smallness of the moments

in which I love you best: the lulls, the Sunday
afternoons that stretch like yawns. You’re out there,
in our yard, past the porch’s bowed railing and crooked
steps, determined to teach wisteria how to grow

around the railing now, though the whole thing needs
fixing, and I can see you—your shoulders
growing redder in the warm, bright spring as you dip
below my sight to run thin, green wires

around the tendrils and the wood. Our best days
are the days like this: the ones in which you buy asparagus
from a plaid-shirted farmer and manage not to overcook it,
or when I find earthy beer on sale and we drink

on that sagging porch while the stars come out. We spend
our weekends away from cubicles and break-room coffees—
instead, stripping printed wallpaper from the kitchen; staining
cabinets a brighter, cheerier brown; sketching how we think

these rooms should be. Sometimes you draw a cradle
in the one beside ours—the room I fill with bookshelves—
and cock your head when I thumb it to a smudge.

You pull weeds in our yard. I air the rooms that still smell
dry and sour, like ancient linen and the lives of others.
We hammer and scrape, fit tongue in groove for new floorings,
write brief notes on painters’ tape. Behind you, I can see

the willow’s base has thickened from our kitchen window;
its thin branches wave like hair. How frequent our small moments.
We are so often going nowhere together, in this house
we are trying to rebuild ourselves, under rafter beams
you have planed with your own hands. I ask that you

remember the cradle we once bought, the one I chopped
to kindling when I lost her. I would not stop
crying, and you brought me the willow sapling—said
it would always weep so that I wouldn’t feel I had to.

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