On the Back Porch

by Dorianne Laux

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.


  1. Beautiful. I love all the attention to the simple things in life that are really so grand.

  2. I want to wait...until what I love misses me, and calls me in.

    I wondered what I was waiting for...

    Very niiiiicccccceeeee, dearest Distracted.

  3. Oh my - oh my!

    Like a stream tinkling over pebbles...

  4. wish i had written this.

  5. a pink rag of a cloud and man who will lift her hair in his hands and brush it until it throws sparks.

    Oh my oh my oh my.


  6. I know...what a lovely way she has of looking at the world AND being able to write it down. Sigh...:>)

  7. This choked me up because it describes the life my mother always wanted, yet glimpses were all she really had.


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