PoetryIssue 06 | August 2009

Two poems by Ingrid Steblea

The Location of Home

Congaree Swamp, South Carolina

We came here from New England’s trim green lawns
and wide flat maple leaves. There, even the flowers are decorous,
animals and birds painted with a planned palette as if selected
specifically for postcards: Cardinal Against Snowy Evergreen Branch.

You point to the skinks skittering along the boardwalk railing,
dull dun lizards with a shock of electric blue tail darting
up the waxen trunks of the magnolia tree. I read to you
from the mimeographed field guide: cypress knees and tupelo drupes.
Like any foreign language the sounds delight. Loblollies. 
Green haw. Sweetgum. Sedge.

We have waded past a country mile of Pentecostal clapboard churches.
We know where we came from, but not where we are going. 
The tupelo trees spread over of the black water, the wild grape
snakes up the paw-paw tree, heavy with scuppernongs.
Perhaps we will move to a city. A township, a suburb. 
What jobs? What friends? 

The barred owl whooos in the canopy, the woodpecker
clatters at the beech tree. Tulip poplars bassoon
their triumphant fruit, blazing orange, emerald. I rest
my hand upon your shoulder. 

Below, snapping turtles snatch
hunks of bread, thrown down by a row
of children, laughing, at the bridge’s end.

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About the author

Long before Ingrid Steblea settled in the beautiful Happy Valley area of western Massachusetts, she and her husband and son traveled across the continental US by car. Ingrid’s poetry has appeared in Poem, Rattle, The Seattle Review, The Southern Anthology, and other journals, and she was the featured poet in the December 2008 edition of ouroboros review.  She leads an online writers group and is currently working on a novel.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok