When sidelong hours reach deepinto the house, objects turnunbearably distinct and I thinkof girlhood, how the sinking golden lighthad to be seized, like the lastmouthful of soda in a warm can sharedwith my sister. Whether I wanted to or not,I climbed higher in the tree, higherthan I even liked, to watch the back doorwhere my mother would appearand call me in. For years nowa supper made by someone elseis all I want, but this late sunkeeps pressing in. The linen chairbeside the window looks moresalmon-hued and woven nowthan at noon. And the not-chairstretches long beside it. Shadowssharpen and themselves becomeobjects filling the room. A child wakesdown the hall. Light gathers on the facesof ranunculus in a mantle vase,browning and collapsingin their centers. I think I have beensad every afternoon of my life.Outside a child runs in the grass.Soon I will appear and call her to me.
Copyright © 2022 by Jennifer Polson Peterson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Jennifer Polson Peterson is a poet living in South Mississippi. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Radar, Beloit Poetry Journal, Image, Apricity, and elsewhere. She is a PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers and the author of a chapbook, Must Resemble Leisure, published by Seven Kitchens Press.
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