Domestic Migrations
by Carol A. Stephen

When I moved away from home the first time
I didn’t know much beyond how to cook roast beef,
and badly or how to boil potatoes into mush, but I learned quickly
that a tiny budget can run out before the next pay.

And when I moved again it was to the sky, an 18th floor apartment,
far above the hum of traffic and mosquitoes. We could see
for miles and miles, the eastern sky and sunrise. Inside,
our first real furniture, all teak and glass and fabric for cat claws…

Each time we moved, we accumulated. More things, more books,
more clutter. Each move we needed more space to store the things
that made our lives real. A bigger television, electronics, and pictures
hubby painted for the walls, no matter that he wasn’t very skilled.

He moved on, back to Mommy’s house and few responsibilities,
while I stayed on in my aerie above the noise. As each year passed
new adventures, different cities, smaller towns.
More things, more books, more stuff.

I want to move one more time, and leave behind
the things, the books, the stuff. None of them
the things that make life real. They merely make it
overweight, a stone around its heart.


Carol A. Stephen 
is a Canadian poet. Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal and two Tree Press/phaphours press collaborative chapbooks. You can also find Carol’s poems on-line at and in videos at Twice shortlisted,  in 2012 Carol won third place in Canadian Authors Association National Capital Writing Contest. She’s the author of three chapbooks, Above the Hum of Yellow JacketsArchitectural Variations, and Ink Dogs in my Shoes (2014), as well as a collaborative chapbook with JC Sulzenko, Breathing Mutable Air (2015), and a  chapbook of ekphrastic poems, Slant of Light (2016). Visit her at