Coming Home

Alice Friman Click to


Alice Friman has new poetry forthcoming in Ploughshares, Georgia Review, and Negative Capability. Her sixth collection is The View from Saturn, LSU. A new collection, Blood Weather, is due from LSU in 2019. She’s the winner of many awards, the latest, the 2016 Paumanok Poetry Award. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she was poet-in-residence at Georgia College.

Click to hear Alice Friman read her poem, “Coming Home”

Early March, and a pale
sky tightens down spiteful.
What clump of green there is
seems vulgar, out of place,
superfluous as last year’s
newspaper or the curtain
in that front window, shredded
into abstraction. And if he felt
the target of a pair of eyes
or a ghost giggle from behind
a hedge, after sixty years away,
the mind plays tricks. He blinked,
wiped his glasses, blew into
his hands against the cold,
then lingered on the porch,
listening for the whine
of the battered Electrolux
being jerked around on
its leash, the dusty swish
of a rag. Nothing had changed—
the old push-pull of stasis,
the ugly guy wires of stock still.
But he’ll not enter, not trust
the old key to the old lock.
He knows better. For what if,
for story’s sake, he’s tempted
to brave the long hallway again,
past the yawning closet of
mildew and wet mackinaws
and smell? Then the dash to
his room and down on his knees
to peer under his bed the way
he used to, looking for creatures
that fidget in the dark, waiting
just waiting to snatch him up?
How pitiable those monsters
of childhood turned out to be.
As if anything could have spirited
him away, rescued him from this.


1 Response to Coming Home

Comments are closed.