Dorianne Laux, “On the Back Porch”


Dorianne Laux was a great favorite of mine before she chose Sparrow for the Gell Poetry Prize, before she wrote the forward for Sparrow, before I met her at LitFuse in 2013. I’ve included her poetry on the blog before, but in doing a little research today, I found an interview at a fascinating poetry site called Dive Dapper; divedapper? Anyway, click on the link to find out more. I am all the more determined to see that our paths cross again. And again.

In the meantime, here is a poem from her early collection, Awake. 


The cat calls for her dinner.
On the porch I bend and pour
brown soy stars into her bowl,
stroke her dark fur.
It’s not quite night.
Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky.
Above my neighbor’s roof, a transparent
moon, a pink rag of cloud.
Inside my house are those who love me.
My daughter dusts biscuit dough.
And there’s a man who will lift my hair
in his hands, brush it
until it throws sparks.
Everything is just as I’ve left it.
Dinner simmers on the stove.
Glass bowls wait to be filled
with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley
on the cutting board.
I want to smell this rich soup, the air
around me going dark, as stars press
their simple shapes into the sky.
I want to stay on the back porch
while the world tilts
toward sleep, until what I love
misses me, and calls me in.

-Dorianne Laux

1 reply
  1. terith
    terith says:

    I love this poem, and it’s today’s inspiration for my April poem-a-day. The weather’s a tantalizing preview of summer evenings to come. Thanks, Bethany


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