The Porch

By on Aug 11, 2019 in Poetry

I was premature. Born yellowish,
butterfly kicking forward, already
homesick when they snapped the cord.

They placed me in the sun to bake
beneath the maples on their new porch
where I could speak to the trees with cries

and hear myself attempt the forest sounds.
My first language: shhhhh-ahhh-shhheeee.
Wind teaching a child to listen

to suburban alienation.
Each caterpillar inching on my skin
was a friend to gather, greet;

each cardinal was a scarlet blur
of echoing skylight, calling me back
from the harsh kick of a car engine.

My ears were tuned to the patter of rain
on the porch boards, lullabies from my grandma.
She and I sang to hummingbird whirs,

to the swish of a grey-squirrel tail.
We were small together in this home place,
content with our brief niche of time.


“The Porch” was previously published in Banshee.


Christine Kelley is a recent graduate of the poetry M.A. program at Queen's University in Belfast and has also studied for an M.A. in literature at Villanova University. At the moment, she's working and living in Dublin, IE with her husband. She's been previously published in Automatic Pilot and Banshee. Her hometown will always be Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.