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


what is happiness?

illustration of a front loading washing machine with a colorful rainbow and a house sketched in the middle where the clothes would be
Art by Kristina Closs


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-)

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