Surly Girlie

Writing to figure things out and just because she likes it


August heat fades to cool

when the screen door bangs against the gray concrete

and my grandfather says, “Shannie, come look at the stars.”

He sits in a tattered lawn chair –

the old kind with the woven scratchy strips of god-knows-what material.

They have a hint of silver threading through their glint.

There are no other chairs and so

 I sit on the stairs and smile with him.

The green glassy yard spreads before me like a lake of possibility.

(Oh the sloppy cartwheels that could be turned!

Oh the apple-bough circus ponies that need riding!)

I want to know why


I can’t stay in that backyard forever.

The night air gently presses me to the present moment

 with my Grampy

and his lawn chair

and his beer

and the late summer stars.

When as if on cue

a train makes a wallowing sound,

its a dutiful melancholic tone full of beauty

and heartache.


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