Jesse Lee Kercheval
Jesse Lee Kercheval was born in France and raised in Florida. She is the author of the memoir SPACE. Her second poetry book, DOG ANGEL, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her poetry appears in recent issues of such magazines as Poetry London, the Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry New Zealand, Hotel Amerika, Blue Moon, the Southern Review, the Missouri Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and Volt among others. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin where she directs the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.
One child off at camp, the other fast asleep, husband at the hardware store, I sit by the open window in this, the moment between one storm and the next. Outside, rain steams from the asphalt street, the tornado siren sits atop its power pole, silent watchful yellow cone. No twister yet to make me grab the baby, blanket, bottle, diapers, run two flights to the basement and wait, crouching by the wash.
Tomorrow, there will be fireworks. A daughter, sunburned, bug bit, home with a pile of wet and muddy clothes. In the afternoon, a picniccupcakes stuck with sparklers. Brats, buns, beer, I have yet to buy. Today there is only this humming, this slight pause. We wait so long for these moments, then pass through them eyes on the storm bruised horizon, not even noticing. So let me remember the 3rd of July, day of no sunshine, unholiday, any day, every day.
What you are
I deliver my daughter to kindermusic.
Week One: the class
Week Two: they draw music,
Week Three: they clap, they stomp
At the end of each class
Week Four: Finally they are given
are taught how to hold
no more roaring and dancing.
I have a Calvinist streak in me.
On the ferry