What is home but a book we write, then read again & again

illustration of the words of the poem creating a black and white landscape of trees, house, two deer
Art by Kristina Closs

Written Deer

by Maggie Smith

Why does this written doe bound
through these written woods?
                            —Wisława Szymborska

My handwriting is all over these woods.
No, my handwriting is these woods,

each tree a half-print, half-cursive scrawl,
each loop a limb. My house is somewhere
here, & I have scribbled myself inside it.

What is home but a book we write, then
read again & again, each time dog-earing

different pages. In the morning I wake
in time to pencil the sun high. How
fragile it is, the world—I almost wrote

the word but caught myself. Either one
could be erased. In these written woods,

branches smudge around me whenever
I take a deep breath. Still, written fawns
lie in the written sunlight that dapples

their backs. What is home but a passage
I’m writing & underlining every time I read it.

from Goldenrod


You are more wanted in this world than anything since or after

Remembering when home was a place we longed to spend more time in and feeling grateful for having shelter during such a terrible time as I read this Lilah Hegnauer poem.

Inside the home of dear friends, 2017. 

“Flour Sack”

We love the eve of holy days at home. We lose our mittens,
our heavy boots, toss our briefcases, unlace our braids,

and we, who were only ever employed tenuously to begin with,
throw off the mantle of this recession. We drink gin and we sing.

And you, young, blond curls limp in the heat, take karaoke requests
and queue them up and we all pretend, for a holy

day or two, that we have it all: enameled tubs, spoke and spoon
and spittle of all we won’t actually say. You are more wanted

in this world than anything since or after. You are wanted like
a hasp wants its pin, like a comma wants another clause. Give it.

from Pantry 

There’s no more north and south.


“Our Houses”

by Linda Hogan (1947-)

When we enter the unknown
of our houses,
go inside the given up dark
and sheltering walls alone
and turn out the lamps
we fall bone to bone in bed.

Neighbors, the old woman who knows you
turns over in me
and I wake up
another country. There’s no more
north and south.
Asleep, we pass through one another,
like blowing snow,
all of us,

from Seeing through the Sun