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.