This is probably not the poem
you were expecting,
since it’s not about grief
or loss or even love.
It’s not about your children
who have scattered across time zones
you can’t keep track of and so never know
if now is a good time to call.
Likewise, it’s not about fall.
Not about rain or the aches and pains
of aging or god forbid, migrating birds.
This poem doesn't mince words.
It doesn't do Halloween,
doesn't buy cookies from Girl Scouts
or drive at night. This poem
is a burnt-out porchlight, a Lucky Strike
smoked down to nothing
in the darkened yard. This poem
is an upstairs window left open
all night, an ocean of stars
keeping their eye on you.
About the author
Emily Ransdell's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Kestrel, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, Tar River Poetry and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize, the New Letters Prize and the Janet B. McCabe Prize from Ruminate Magazine. Emily divides her time between Camas, Washington and the North Oregon Coast.