“Return to Sender” by Natalie Homer

20 September 2019 on Poetry   Tags: , , ,

My doe with the limp is one fawn short since spring.
Some time later, in the low moan of a snowstorm
she canters back to the woods, alone.

Yearly pilgrimage to Ohio—past factories and sallow fields,
to the tired town where a smell like cherry tobacco
settles over everything, a fine dusting of snow.

We sleep in the house of lives already lived,
dust in the corners, carpets worn thin,
and listen to the grandfather clock clear its melodic throat.

I could never live here, I say, and mean it.
But going home, we drive through a neighborhood I love
and I change my mind for a moment—

seeing these storybook houses—their scrollwork, lace edges,
where the paint is always fresh and each window holds a light
framed by lace curtains. I wonder who lives here—

who places a white dollhouse in an upstairs window,
who sweeps the walks so carefully, who scents the air
with sweet woodsmoke—what clean, well-crafted lives?


Natalie Homer's recent poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, The Boiler, Berkeley Poetry Review, Meridian, and others. She received an MFA from West Virginia University and lives in southwestern Pennsylvania. Her personal website can be found here

Michaela Savell is a Salem-based mixed media artist. She is drawn to faces and architecture because of they challenge her to capture complex emotions in simple stokes of a brush. Even in the crevices of an alley or a small streak of light around a corner, Michaela sees beauty. Check out more of Michaela's work here

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