Laura McPherson

Rocking in the Dappled Evening 

Our doorframe sags heavy 
with the weight of loss. 
Yet on this porch we 
rock and we see a lot:
pasts and futures
in the distance, 
lily of the valley in the
shade beside the wall.
We watch the ghost 
of a girl in red shoes
step into the dappled 
evening, and against the 
weathered boards the white 
of skin is alabaster cold.

Animals are here, hidden.
Fruit trees are laden.
Eden is far away.

On this porch the oil 
lamp gutters and the moths 
are thick and dark like 
sorghum on our tongues, 
while water from the dipper 
tastes of metal and of soil.

Oh, my sister,
turn your clay:
shape us, raise us
from the mud and muck 
of endless creeks,
while mama churns the butter
cha cha cha,
while I spin 
stories of the south,
rot and hallelujah of 
our south.

I write,
“Though locusts grasp,
they turn to husks. For us,
there is always time 
and time and time.”


Laura McPherson received a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master of Science in Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a librarian for Ashe County Public Library. Her work is previously unpublished.


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