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
I woke the first morning to an orange glow
flickering beneath my door,
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
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,
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.
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.
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Write a Poem
Write about someone who went to war. You do not have to mention the war, but you may.