Reader Poetry: Powder House Square


Powder House Square
By Jamie Kallestad

I’ve seen the flowers of Somerville stand up in place
Like these houses in rows – elbowing for space
What is that now? The threat of a storm?
Painted wood can decay, frozen soil can warm
It’s spring now (of course) – vinyl siding in bloom
On three floors of magenta, divided by rooms

I can’t keep myself off the street
When the smell of burnt bread and sandalwood rises in spears
From newly mulched gardens lying in tiers
I’ve searched from Ontonagon to Carbondale to Iowa Falls
But now to discover this pastel dream grown up around me
Is to walk in a constant dumbfounded revelation
So little I know

I’ve crested hills to see church steeples rise
Through an ocean of leaves bringing the holy to their knees
I’ve seen regal park benches vacant in the local catacombs of trees
From Powder House Square to the western front of my home
I only hope to sleep tonight with an empty head
And weary bones