Melva Sue Priddy


At night, I climb out the window
(the one too small for adults) and onto 
the back porch roof.  Lying on shingles 
still hot, the breeze sweet off the front meadow,
I eavesdrop on night birds chasing mosquitoes, turn 
to study lacy tree tops against stars.

Earlier, with canning jar and knife, I had walked 
the front field, selected daisies, red clovers, 
the summer’s first tight thistle, a bouquet 
for mother in the hospital at Elizabethtown.
But on the front porch, he blustered 
then jerked the prickly weed out of my jar.

It’s as sound up here as a fencerow in midday, 
deep as the corner of the kitchen I mop 
myself into, peaceful as working in wind-rowed 
hay, secure as the floor of a classroom 
during break.  I fall asleep on the far edge.


Melva Sue Priddy grew up on a diary/tobacco/hay farm in Kentucky. As a child she swooned over rocks and flowers and clay. Still true today. She earned the MFA in poetry from Spalding University, and her work has appeared in several journals including The Louisville Review and Still: The Journal


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