Kelly Sievers

His Side
April 24, 2020 Sievers Kelly

About 35 years ago I offered a small ten-week poetry writing workshop  out of my home in Portland OR. Kelly Sievers was one of the half-dozen poets who enrolled, and that ten-week workshop turned into a seven-year workshop. Kelly’s work deepened and grew braver, richer, more exploratory and wise. She has published in numerous magazines.
–Floyd Skloot


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Easy now to stand on a bluff and see
how Lake Michigan holds the city in place.
My mother forever on its shore. She tents
a beach towel around me. I peel a swimsuit
from my hips.

Here is the sidewalk that knew me.
All the people shaken from these houses.
My brother blinding me with the white
of his first communion.
He drapes his arm around me,
I burrow into his side.

The corner house, ours. Moored between
a chink of drapes I become the silent
streetlamp, witness crimson pulse,
ambulance lights.  A rush of women
in white. “The Hospital for Alcoholics”
always open. No one I knew lost in there.
Not yet.

My father busy feeding the refrigerator.
Aunt Kate tilted over the ironing board,
Uncle Jim, his deck of cards. My mother
quickened with child. Hidden in a drawer—
a tobacco box of dimes. Money, no money
a refrain hovering, a mist.

Lake Michigan’s rocky shore
our springboard. The world
a globe lit at the foot of our beds.
In its blue brim of light
my brother and I sleep.

Kelly Sievers lives in Portland, Oregon. Her work is published in a number of literary journals and in nine anthologies. Her poetry can be found in Ekphrasis, Passager, Prairie Schooner, The Permanente Journal, the Oregon Poetic Voices Project, Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose, and is forthcoming in Her Words, a publication of Black Mountain Press.