This entry is part 4 of 27 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Autumn 2014


Coming home from school, I ran
my fingers through fronds that bordered

one stretch of road: guileless green;
and lightly etched in the distance,

clotheslines sagging with the weight
of sheets and clothes that fluttered

like flags of one domestic territory
whose floors were scrubbed and waxed,

whose kitchen sinks and stoves
were tended, where fish and fowl

were gutted and scaled by women’s hands.
And once, when I was just a little older,

in the crowded darkness of a movie house
I felt the blind, insistent fumbling

of unknown fingers around the back
buttons of my blouse. I squirmed

and tried to inch away but could not see
from where this invasive spider

had climbed down from its sticky web…
Out in the tremble of latticed daylight,

I did not know the words to speak for what
just happened: just as when I held up my hand

to my face and saw rather than felt
the crimson gash from the unseen stroke.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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