like home

you speak of grasshoppers,
and fireflies, that sharp scent
of hard and sudden rains –

all the things that do not
set their blessings here,
or rarely do anyway

the impossibility of elsewhere
is no longer a vague notion –
the truth of it rests on my chest –

the spiny, black hull
of a horse chestnut dropped
on a damp and chill morning

© Sarah Whiteley


I have now
this exhalation
of yesterday’s tomorrows
all these heres
that add up to then
when we were breathing out
what has long since
wound its way
into green creases
of twining leaves

I have lined them up
just here
like blue-tinted jars
of summer plums
on quiet shelves
where I can tick them off
fingertip on glass

one – the rain
two – remember?
three – long months
and four – moons later
and five rows more
than I can count

this is how
I preserve them
tight-capped jars
of sun and fruit
that I can touch
on winter days
when then is far
and now lies dying
for then

© Sarah Whiteley