Paul Explains Home

Ann Howells

Rush to your lighted home
evening after evening;
let bare feet slap.
Let nothing detain you.

In the city, people
cannot hear you. Their ears
fold closed; their tongues
are clipped.

There, consonants bounce
and tumble, clatter the walk;
you're pressed against bricks,
mouth a silent O . . .

mouth, not voice.
You don't have a voice,
barely exist, mere reflection
in shop windows.

Here, everyone who enters
is family or friend—
windows spill laughter
and doors are flung wide.

If you walk away, tires hiss
the freeway, windows blink,
doors crack. Turn back,
home flings open wide arms.


About the Author

Ann Howells's poetry appears in Concho River Review, Crannóg (Ire), Lowestoft Chronicle, Plainsongs, Rockhurst Review, and San Pedro River Review, among others. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, and has edited Illya's Honey, since 1999, recently going digital (www.IllyasHoney.com). Her chapbooks are Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007) and the Rosebud Diaries (Willet Press, 2012). She has been read on NPR, interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television, and been four times nominated for a Pushcart, twice in 2014.