Front Porch Journal

Stacy Kidd


Do not hear me now

with whatever rock
I remember from Subiaco--

the monks who taught
through high winds

at Easter, the box
trees or dahlias in bloom

before the last frost.
Do not say Josephine,

French empress,
only favored the flowers

when they were hers
alone to give-- or hear her

ministers tell the Polish prince
to steal a hundred

seeds-- or answer with
your own loose stone

from the monastery's grave,
but unsing: clover

on Maple Street. Say nothing.





Black-Eyed Dog

The mongrel dog can't recall the road
to the farmhouse. A bale of hay
or tally of bees under the maple--  each an oval.
Each night, another Shoeless Joe
mutters a curse & the ground 
grows over with nettles. Second sight is
a grass-blade under the tongue. Love,
how to prove the flowers don't belong here.





& little towns grow like this--

a gravel road curves into rocks where we wanted
to live & could not

or we would have lit
right up, the backroad

as long as our legs
could carry us                 
                                                                  & enough
to see the night                                       sky
                                                                       
blaze & ball
change into everything         is whittled

that eats what takes                                                wood & no good
root around us                             & nbsp;          I keep you to fall
                             &nb sp;                                                           &nb sp;
                             &nb sp;                                                     right into place





Feathers

                                 grouped in gray

and black                                   
                striations,

 

hint

of blue both

                                 and red--
the Cimarron's water.

                                                  I want

 

to see things

 

as they are
                                   
                now: a house    filled

 

with books,

                                a room with books,                 


                 a room--

white

walls, crevice.



Stacy Kidd is poetry editor for Quarterly West and a PhD student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah. Her poems have appeared recently in The Journal, No Tell Motel, Washington Square, and WITNESS, and are forthcoming in reviews Colorado and Iowa.

"I grew up with a front stoop on Jefferson Street. The neighbors would pull out lawn chairs and sit down for a long time in the driveway across from my house and drink beer and smoke cigarettes anytime the tornado sirens sounded. When there was a tornado, my parents would stash me in the crawl space underneath my bedroom. They came, too, with a radio and a blanket, and I could see the neighbors' feet through a vent in the foundation.

This was Stillwater, and there was a back stoop and a bird dog named Buck after Buck Rogers and maybe Buck Owens. The back stoop was also a good stoop. If you stood on it long enough and twisted your head the right way, you could sort of see Boomer Lake.

My grandfather's stoop was covered and looked over his farm which was basically a barn and an old outhouse and some cotton crops and pasture. There was a great little cellar next to it with jars of pickles and chow chow, which I never learned to like. The cellar had a dirt floor and a table my grandfather dragged down there so I could play with dolls and teapots and the toy rifle my cousin passed on to me, etc.

Grandfather #2 had a house outside Altus with a front porch and a lot of trees, but I don't really remember it. He moved into an apartment by the Air Force Base when I was still small and ran a domino hall with other old farmers. They bet with matchsticks."

Masthead


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ISSN#1936-7716

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All photos were taken at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, by Sameera Kapila and Herpreet Singh.

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