Keeping Room by Ann Thornfield-Long

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Narrated by Ann Thornfield-Long

Keeping Room by Ann Thornfield-Long
Illustration by Keeping Room by Ann Thornfield-Long
Rain drums the windowpane;
     August sky, a long-term gray.
          We’ve looked forward to the promise

of the Perseids. We settle
     into our own perigee—content
          with our trajectory in this cleft of earth—

packed with all we bring: wind, wine, magic
     of our stars. The deluge stops
          at midnight, we stretch

onto the glossy street beneath, entangled
     mercury vapor lights
          costuming our shadows

like circus people with rhomboid, Gumby legs
     boogieing down Mars Boulevard.
          Our bizarre gloomy twins vanish

in the ghostly radiance of a green fireball
     riding the clearing rim of Southern sky,
          bristling the hair on Pluto’s back.

Sparks of meteors pass through the Milky Way,
     our electron hearts in icy space
          warm to red.


BIO: Ann Thornfield-Long, a co-author of Tennessee Women of Vision and Courage, (edited by Crawford and Smiley, 2013), has published poetry in Silver Blade, The Tennessee Magazine, Wordgathering, and other publications. She won the Patricia Boatner Fiction Award (Tennessee Mountain Writers, 2017) for her novel excerpt “The Crying Room.” She was also awarded a Weymouth residency in 2017. She was editor/publisher of her hometown weekly newspaper for six years and is a retired nurse and medical first responder. She is a student of American Sign Language.