Kelly Terwilliger





Day after day I keep thinking: this

could be the first day of summer.

And then, recalibrating,

as if one could wave words

and begin again. As if it really matters.

Lawnmowers buzz and little sisters

cartwheel on new grass,

yellow shirt, black shorts changing places

again and again like a Jacob’s ladder

rearranging its squares

without going anywhere.

Without needing to. Where am I trying

to land? Every time their hands

or feet reach up

they look like stems of light

and down the street in the wash

of heat, three men stand in the mingled

shades of geometry and maples

pouring concrete around a manhole,

smoothing what wobbles until it settles

its way to stone. The street’s mouth is open.

Even the underworld is drinking sun today.


Kelly Terwilliger's work has appeared in journals such as the Comstock Review, Prairie Schooner, South Carolina Review, Hubbub, and Cider Press Review. Her chapbook, A Glimpse of Oranges, was published by Finishing Line Press, and a full-length collection of her poems is forthcoming in 2017 with Airlie Press. She works as a storyteller in public schools.