Sara Clancy

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We Were Meant to Live Here

Go west on Sutter Creek Road to the Esso Station
between the Evenrude sign and the one that tells us
Liz Henshaw supports the NRA. By then our checklist
tipping towards the rural life will be assessed. Again.

That we can see ourselves drinking hazelnut coffee
by a fountain behind our kitchen window is fatuous
and we ought to know better. The intricately carved
calla lilies are as haunted as the pissing cherub, staring

down the rotten fence with his own blind
conviction. But by all means we must move
to the country, remodel the swaying bungalow
built in 1912, hang our garden gloves

on the crooked hook and face down the fresco
that mocks in hard water and rust.

The night house

is still called “Tall Trees” but it’s vacant
now and different. There are missing
planks of roof and when the ivy rustles
sometimes the sky shows through.

The rooms are exactly as they were
except cluttered with cut grass, empty
pill bottles and stars. You listen for
small talk in the kitchen where words

dry up like the creek running through. Your
grandmother gathers the detritus of what she left
behind and though you came in good faith,
it is clear you can't live there anymore.


Sara Clancy a Philadelphia transplant to the Desert Southwest.  Her chapbook Ghost Logic won the 2017 Turtle Island Quarterly Editors Choice Award and she is an Associate Editor for Poetry at Good Works Review. Among other places, her poems have appeared in Off the Coast, The Linnet's Wings, Crab Creek Review, The Madison Review, and Verse Wisconsin. She lives in Arizona with her husband and daughter, their two dogs, a cross-eyed cat and a 24 year old goldfish named Darryl.