by Maggie Smith
Why does this written doe bound
through these written woods?
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.
For you, what is happiness?
Black tiles and slant
of ribbed clouds.
A child’s rainbow
with a house under it.
Clothes in the washer
clapping all night.
by Fanny Howe (1940-)
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.
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.