the side porch sessions

earlier, a hummingbird busily
inspected the bricks, perhaps
mistaking them for other,
more sweetly yielding reds

and now Charlie, incongruously tattooed,
the color of strawberries and cream,
leans against the rail and half laughs
about the man who tried to kiss her
down at the bar

two gin and tonics in, and the dusk
rises to dark – and down the street
something has disturbed the crows
into scolding wakefulness

I am fresh from my first bad dream
of the man I’ve been seeing,
feeling frayed and fragile – but not
seeking any reassurances

a year ago, I wouldn’t have wanted
to know my neighbors this way – and yet
here I am in the middle of another side porch
session on a warm night with too many cigarettes,

trading not a few bottles and bad jokes
between these strangers who have become
somehow (sneakily) a half dozen friends
and one just-fallen-in-my-lap lover

who leans against the ivy-covered wall
and catches my eye in that all-knowing way
that says he knows me in ways
I don’t even know myself and aren’t we
just the luckiest fucking ones

© Sarah Whiteley

Hoping I don’t need to apologize for the profanity in that last line – the intent isn’t to offend, but to capture what these warm nights spent on the side porch are really like – crass, and vulgar, and full of drinking, smoking, playful banter and some surprisingly deep and meaningful conversations.

found poem

yesterday’s fortune
left the fragment of a poem
lying in the January drizzle
for me to perceive
and carry (treasured) home

some squirrel, winter hungry
no doubt, had dug it up
and nibbled most of the roots
away to nubs – but still,
green pushes through
the almost ruin

it sits now on my sill
in a balance of stone and water
and quiet winter light, while I
and my curiosity await
the unknown bloom

© Sarah Whiteley

While walking in the rain yesterday, I did stumble across a little bulb on the sidewalk with most of its roots nibbled off, but some healthy green just beginning to show. I decided to take it home with me and see if I could get it to bloom. It struck me almost immediately how much finding this little bit of life was like writing a poem – stumbling over a fragment that slowly sprouts, never knowing exactly what it will be when it finally decides to bloom. I’m actually very excited now to see what blooms on my window sill in a few weeks – love this little gift from the universe!