Archives for posts with tag: poetry month

Anderson front door
At First Sight
by Cynthia Anderson

We’d spent the day with our realtor,
planned to make an offer on a house
we’d seen—but since we were so close,
we said, let’s go by that one last place
just down the block. It was farther
than we thought—towards the edge
of the tract—the roof barely visible
from the street. We followed the ups
and downs of the driveway to the top,
where we were greeted by the garage,
glowing clusters of barrel cacti,
rock formations all around. A desert
wonderland…but where was the door?
A narrow walkway led to the right,
past willows and cholla. Up ahead,
a rise where pines swayed in the breeze.
Finally, the door—solid, brick red,
with its own tiny window instead
of a peephole. We opened that door
onto our new life.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Twelve years ago, my husband and I wanted badly to move to the desert but had trouble finding the “right” house. About to give up and settle for second best, serendipity suddenly took over. The hidden door symbolized our search and its happy conclusion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert, in the house with the brick-red door. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, and she is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She has authored nine collections and co-edited the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. Visit her at

HOWARTH front door
To Make You Welcome
By Stephen Howarth

Another hard morning in hard house-hunting,
standing in wind-whipped rain and knocking for entry:
a high step up to a sheer black door, forbidding, foreboding,
with nothing to hint, “I could be yours, if you want me.”

Then a wispy fey fairy princess showed the way
through a possible acropolis, spacious, capacious,
with excellent acoustics. The house started to sing
“I could be yours, if you want me.”

An imperfect purchase. Stern and dour, the front door stayed
for years, until at last, in a vast salvage yard,
in a barn full of doors, there was one pleading rescue:
“I could be yours, if you want me?”

A century old, with obscure tulip glass and golden-hued pine,
it came from unwanted to its true new home,
bringing brightness and lightness and warm shining rightness.
The old became new. I became its, and it became mine.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I like to work with wood, and once was able to spend most of a year building musical instruments, including a copy of a Stradivarius violin. My front door has been a source of constant joy both for me and for visitors, ever since I found it, dusted it off, measured it, and knew it to be perfect.

HOWARTH North Cape selfie

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Howarth has been an independent professional author of history all his working life. He served in the Royal Naval Reserves, both on the lower deck and as an officer, and wrote the official centenary history of the RNR – for which he was appointed an honorary Commander by HM the Queen. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Life Member of the US Naval Institute and The 1805 Club. He earned a Master’s degree (with Distinction) in creative writing at Nottingham Trent University.

house-lawn copy
To Do List
by Midge Goldberg

The mud room door latch doesn’t always work.
Old and bronze,
sometimes it sticks,
and you fiddle with it
on your way out.

When the back door opens,
the air pressure
changes, makes the mud room door
open on its own—it floats ajar
till someone comes along
to shut it.
I’ve seen you push it gently closed
with your fingertips.

Other times
it seems to lock itself
and no amount of key-jiggling or curses
unlocks it.
I know that thud on wood, the sigh,
when you finally give up,
go around through the kitchen.

Though you always carry
a Swiss Army knife,
I tell people, you’re ornery,
you like the door like that—
unpredictable as the weather
that broke it,
wore it down,
then slips it open with a breeze.
You’ll never fix it.
I know you.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Living in an old house gave me many opportunities to imagine all the people that had lived in it before, and what it was like to live there in 1880. Was there a road, neighbors? How isolated was it, and how did they live day-to-day? What did they eat? Did they grow all their own food? Where had they come from? There was always a special feeling in that house, and the doors seemed like the magic wardrobe by which I could enter back into those early times.

midge-goldberg red dress summer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Midge Goldberg received the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for her book Snowman’s Code, and the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Measure, Light, Appalachia, and Poetry Speaks: Who I Am. Her other books include Flume Ride and the children’s book My Best Ever Grandpa. She is a longtime member of the Powow River Poets and has an M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She lives in Chester, New Hampshire, with her family, two cats, and an ever-changing number of chickens. Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter @midgegoldberg.

Turf Wars
by Tina Hacker

Our front doors
open like mouths,
bite into streets
like teeth. We roll
our tongues
over groomed grass.
Savor the trimmings
of ash, oak, maple
as they fall into gaps
between molars.
We swallow blocks,
so they become us.
Our privilege
until a coyote swaggers by.
Assured, unhurried,
it peers back
as we gape from front stoops.
Continues unconcerned,
claims our turf
with each stride.

Previously published in I-70 Review 2019

tina hacker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tina Hacker, a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, was a finalist in New Letters and George F. Wedge competitions. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, both online and in print, including the Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers, San Pedro River Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, I-70 Review, The Fib Review, and Quantum Fairy Tales.  She has a full-length poetry book, Listening to Night Whistles, and a chapbook, Cutting It.  Since 1976, she has edited poetry for Veterans’ Voices, a national magazine of writing by military veterans.