by Molly Murray

Hooking the photo
          to the wonky screw
pegged skewwhiff

               on the staircase
I try to give
          blank walls a familiar

face but
               it looks at me
cockeyed, slinging

          over the cardboard
cascade of paper
               wads and empty

boxes trammeling
          downstairs in an
avalanche of former

               life: unpacked and unarr-
          shirts losing arms,

basket trailing socks,
               pieces that don’t fit
in the closet or tuck

          in the kitchen drawer
burrowing in the half–
               way box on the landing

          a cul-de-sac
of my List

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The manse in Scotland where I wrote “Unsettling.”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up in the swamps of southern Louisiana and moved to the mountains of Montana in high school — I am used to culture shock and change. I settled in Seattle after college until I married an island boy from the Isle of Lewis and moved with him to the Scottish Highlands… and found myself completely in love but completely lost in his new culture. Everyone in the village asked me again and again how I was “settling in”… This poem captures what I wanted to tell them.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Molly Murray is the author of Today, She Is (Wipf and Stock, 2014) and the editor of The Atelier Project (2015) and the blog Paper Mill. She has an Mlitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow; her poetry has been published by Ink, Sweat and Tears, From Glasgow to Saturn, and is forthcoming in The Wayfarer.

PHOTO: The author back in the Pacific Northwest, whale watching in Depoe Bay, Oregon.