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25 April, 2020: Woodstove

Read a Poem


by Jessica Jones

When Dad came out to Montana
to visit my Ronan farmhouse,
his first priority was heat.
We donned flannels and gloves
and emptied the ash box
for the two-log burner in my kitchen;
He taught me how to bed it,
damper it down, open the flu
with familiar
I woke the first morning to an orange glow
flickering beneath my door,
coffee gurgling,
Dad tinkering in slippered feet.
Could hear the swing of stove hinge
iron poker pushing coals,
and I lay like a child, holding on
to each molecule of light and sound:
my father in the content simplicity
of being.
Each day we crossed items off his list:
Outlet switch, hornet’s nest, kindling.
And each morning before light rose
over the mountains
we pulled chairs to the window,
watched pink streak the sky
waited for the deer and her twins
to totter from shadows and feed
in frosted yard.  We spoke in hushed voices,
sipped coffee.
For three days after he left
our chairs sat facing the prairie.
“Woodstove” by Jessica Jones, from Bitterroot. Finishing Line Press. 2019. Used by permission of the author.

Jessica Jones holds a Masters in English from the University of Montana, with licensure to teach grades 5-12 English and K-12 Art, as well as training in Indian Education for All. 

Jones’ writing has appeared in Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, the Ohio Journal of Language Arts, Poems Across the Big Sky II, Bright Bones, English Journal, and Permafrost.   She has also been Writer in Residence for Calcutta Mercy Hospital in India and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Currently on the full-time faculty at Kent State University-Stark, she teaches poetry, creative writing, and composition courses on diversity and social justice. 

Find her on:


Write a Poem

Write about someone who went to war. You do not have to mention the war, but you may.
When that letter came,
I knew I would be headed straight for the front lines.
"1-A," it had read.
My penalty for keeping fit.
I packed my bags the next morning.
The truck arrived promptly.
First basic training, then straight to war.
I kissed my mother
And even my pa.
They choked back tears as they waved goodbye.
I watched them fade from view as I wondered whether I might again see their faces.
4/26/2020 1:12:38 AM

Carl Lindblom
Poem for Read/Write project.

The Virus Blues

Looking out my window,
Everything is so still
Not even a songbird
With its sound so shrill.
It's raining or I'd take a walk.
The wetness causes me to balk.

My creaky legs should really move.
I should get up and really groove.
I could play my horn
And feel less alone
But the weak sound
Makes me moan.
Stay at home is the rule
As if I'd travel far and
be a fool.
I'll now pop up and
Find my way.
Somehow I'll get through
this damaged day.

---Carl Lindblom
4/25/2020 12:59:53 PM

N. K. Hasen
My grandpa went off to war right out of high school
Young, baby face he looked to young to go
He joined the Navy for service
Would be on ship for days
He worked in sonar wearing headphones
He went through many battles
Only got wounded by ricochet shrapnel
My grandma told me stories
Of one important battle he fought
They called it battle of Leyte Gulf
He was on escort carriers
One from several there
The ships fought off large Japanese fleet
It was a turning point battle in war
He survived or I wouldn’t be here
I glad to know stories of my grandpa
Who fought in World War II
4/25/2020 10:30:29 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.