Friday, February 22, 2013

Poem of the Week: Emily K. Bright

  Emily Bright  


It is nearly midnight and I'm
scrubbing at the grout.
The dishes, washed,
are put away. This is how I love
the people in my house,
with baking soda and a sponge.
We build our community
from the kitchen out,
knowing eggs or cornbread
stretch a meal to feed
the neighbor boys, who come
when we sit down to supper.
They always join us
when we offer, always ask
to use the phone to talk to girls.
They claw through adolescence
and such obstacles I never had to face:
gangs and constant relocations,
Michael's father half-way through
his fifteen years for selling. I learn,
I learn from them. Outside, sirens
flash their blue and red again.
I sweep footprints in a pile,
fill the bucket for the mop.
So much is beyond my circle of control.
But this house, this place of gathering,
it shines, if only for a few to see,
if only through the morning.

-Emily K. Bright

From Glances Back (Pudding House Press, 2007).
Used by permission.

Emily K. Bright
holds a BA in English from Williams College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. Her chapbook Glances Back was published by Pudding House Press, and she has had individual poems appear in such literary journals and anthologies as Other Voices International, North American Review, Come Together: Imagine Peace, and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. Follow her blog on teaching, writing, and social justice at

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