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

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on a day when light is tired

on a day when light is tired,
and creeps just barely
across the floor to nudge
a perhaps foot in recognition
of shared apathy

do not mistake sadness
for a sort of ingratitude –
I am thankful for the hooks
that wrench up the grief
from beneath the calm

it is a change at least
in latitude, a revision
of a current insufferable state
and an airing out of that
which has stagnated within

let light be tired then,
and just barely there –
let us be dim together
and somnolent at least until
some fresher air may rouse us

© Sarah Whiteley

the reason why

if I needed a reason
to pace the floor,
pass by the door a fifth,
tenth, fourteenth time,
to check the gas,
to raise the windows,
to create just a little more
space for the dark
to slip into

if I needed a reason
to count the passing dogs
with impatient owners
hurrying them home,
to touch again the spines
of books whose pages
have kept their silences
firmly to themselves
and failed to distract me

if I needed a reason
to press my ear
nearer to the air
we shared,
to wait fruitlessly
on footfalls in the hallway
to pass, to pause,
to toe the crack
at the bottom of my door

if I needed a reason
to twist and spin
myself into a thread
thin and taut, fraught
with all the things
we wait to occur
while all our actions
compounded, amount to
a paralyzing passivity

if I needed a reason
to box up all these hours,
to cut these ties
and stop the gainless pacing,
to close my eyes,
and finally close then
the window blinds –
you didn’t stop by to ask it,

and that’s the reason why

© Sarah Whiteley

mileposts

6:57 AM and light’s early overture
has warmed the cherry petals just enough
that the faintest scent of sweet emerges

maybe it’s more than just scribbling poets
who note these moments and mark the time,
mentally ticking off the mileposts to restoration

but this morning’s note is more than that –
today’s surfacing defines a full ten years,
and the cherry trees have bloomed to remind me

when my bus crosses John Street, I lose it –
cry quietly against the window at sunlight
pushing obdurately through the newest leaves

but by tiny degrees, I still find comfort
in the indomitable certainty that gently-scented,
spring will always return where you cannot

© Sarah Whiteley

A little sad today – marking the 10-year anniversary of losing my little brother. Don’t think I made a complete fool of myself on the bus – at least I hope not. I do find the cherry trees comforting. The bloom does go on.

On a side note, I do not recommend beginning spring by simultaneously breaking your toe and ripping the toenail off. Can we say ouch?! Yes,… yes we can. With a few other choice four-letter words thrown in for good measure!