Of the Safe House, Now Empty

by Jane C. Miller


—after “Dream House, Later” by Susan MacMurdy


Boxed by a calendar, those blank days a numbing countdown

where everything untouched had texture: the sky’s darkness

sponge-scrubbed by snow, anemic reflection

of the eclipsed moon; on the roof, a blackboard astrology

scratched by birds, weathered walls spun straight as

hay’s weak promise; by the entrance, a dark spillway

broken by a white skyline, and prone in snow’s pumice,

a single tree limb, greening leaves sharp as palette knives.

Where the door framed us, we were a postcard

valentine no one saw the back of. If there is a story

here, it is how the world we left still touched us.

Jane C. Miller’s poetry has appeared in Colorado Review, RHINO, UCity Review and Apple Valley Review, among others. A winner of the Naugatuck River Review narrative poetry contest and a two-time recipient of a state fellowship, Miller is co-author of the poetry collection, Walking the Sunken Boards (Pond Road Press, 2019) and an editor of the online poetry journal, ൪uartet (