Juliet Rodeman

One can not have two souls

and stay at the window dark.

Orange windows at morning,

pink at dusk.

Summer, the scrubbed kitchen,

already the garden gate humming,

pining, sining.


And that's when the white horse

returns. Only years later

when the white horse returns

do I remember the Summer story

now that the white horse comes

again, my house a can't help,

where sleep darks the banister.


The creaking of the house

asks me to listen, my scrub rag

hung on its peg, pail of water

pumped at the cistern back porch,

ill of spirit, twins of the floor

cleaned, the spirit shaken hold,

not expected, but whose presence


the can't help honors, the pieces

of the heart a havoc still.

Lain down on the floor together

after the pumping at the cistern

when the dusk's west dissolves,

where, when it was said, "Oh, look!"

her soul crashes into the house


and the other hurries to wrap her arms

around the thing that is so long coming

between them. Kitchen, the long night speaks,

the wrought iron gate tweaking

at the edge, setting fire,

having the last work, dying down,

even the wind wicked out.

Found In Volume 27, No. 03
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Juliet Rodeman
About the Author

Juliet Rodeman’s poems have appeared in The Poets: Anthology (Cera)Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, Ellipsis, Many Mountains Moving, Peregrine, Southern Poetry Review (Guy Owen Prize), the Mid-America Poetry Review, the Anthology of New England Writers, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere. She has taught poetry, nonfiction, literature, and composition at the University of Missouri–Columbia.