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.
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.
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.