Refuge

In the quiet house,
candies have no wrappers. Horehound barrels

are mounded in a glass dish.
She plucks them with a thumb and forefinger

always from the top, so the others do not tumble—
so there is no sound.

In the quiet house, the cuckoo perches atop the clock face—
melodies swollen inside its throat.

Time has not moved forward in years,
which is a recipe for youth, but a sign of aging.

Instead, she keeps beat, waltzing
over moonlit floors. She is moth-flight and cotton nightie.

In the quiet house,
things are just as they have always been.

Lorrie Ness is a poet writing in a rural corner of Virginia. When she’s not writing, she can be found stomping through the woods, watching birds and playing in the dirt. Her work can be found in numerous journals, including Palette Poetry and Sky Island Journal. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021 and her chapbook Anatomy of a Wound was published by Flowstone Press in July of 2021.

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