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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

During 2013, Silver Birch Press published a range of posts — about authors, books, movies, writing, poetry, and prose — for a total of 1,299 blog entries.

Here are our top posts of 2013 — with a special thank you to W.H. Auden, e.e. cummings, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carolyn Miller, Robert Phillips, Shel Silverstein (many times over!), Gary Snyder, Rabindranath Tagore, and Alfred Lord Tennyson for bringing thousands of visitors to the Silver Birch Press Blog.

  1. What type of car did Gatsby drive? (May 17, 2013)
  2. The Night Mail, poem by W.H. Auden (July 16, 2013)
  3. Night of the Summer Solstice, poem by Carolyn Miller (March 27, 2013)
  4. Happy Birthday, poem and drawing by Shel Silverstein (June 24, 2013)
  5. It’s Hot, poem and drawing by Shel Silverstein (August 30, 2013)
  6. The Oak, poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (April 15, 2013)
  7. The Oak and the Rose, poem by Shel Silverstein (April 15, 2013)
  8. Running on Empty, poem by Robert Phillips (September 6, 2013)
  9. Palm Tree, poem by Rabindranath Tagore (October 17, 2013)
  10. Writer Waiting, poem and drawing by Shel Silverstein (January 22, 2013)
  11. Magpie’s Song, poem by Gary Snyder (February 26, 2013)
  12. who knows if the moon’s, poem by e.e. cummings (August 21, 2013)