Vox Populi

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Sharon Fagan McDermott: Meditation on a Sanctuary

There was the crab apple tree with its scarlet buds,

the cool dirt beneath the LaBelle’s rhododendrons,

always cover beneath the picnic table

and sometimes behind the heft of a book

purposely held in front of your face.


There was Grandma’s knitted throws and refuge

on the closet floor near battered shoes,

and every box became interior.


And still there is shelter in shade

and pummeling rain, in the produce aisle

with its mounds of lemons, nectarines.


Memory gives refuge. The silver sky beyond the ferry

exhaled a moon. And the mossy graves

tended by tree frogs and ancient red oaks

held stories, indecipherable.


I knew who I was then, brandishing

my guitar, summer bravado and dizzying dunes.


Six blue plums ripen on the kitchen sill.

The oven is turned off, but the smell

of burnt peaches lingers.


Once, I thought I might take harbor in the love

of another. Once I thought that words

could shore up any flimsy, man-made thing.

So where to anchor now?  Or whether to?


Rain. The wet moon spills into my garden

and sinks deep, the way of all roots.

Copyright 2018 Sharon Fagan McDermott. From Life Without Furniture (Jacar Press).


Sharon Fagan McDermott is a poet, musician, and a teacher of literature at a private school in Pittsburgh, PA. Her most recent collection of poetry, Life Without Furniture, published by Jacar Press (2018) wrestles with finding and feeling at home in the world and seeking sanctuary in an often challenging life.

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