Permeable by Mary Ann Honaker

Image created by Mountain Song Staff

Mary Ann Honaker of Beaver, West Virginia sent us a vivid poem inspired by her home near Grandview State Park.


My parents had an old Schnauzer

who once a day would carefully trace

the property’s boundaries, gathering leaf-crisps

and twigs in his wiry white beard.

Now, without him, those lines grow

permeable. A family of foxes, quick flames

by the shed, a casual calico on the patio.

Rabbits in the peppers, the tomatoes, the squash.

And once, a small herd of whitetails.

The dark-eyed does regarded my mother

through the windows of the sunroom, while

the buck dug at the lawn with one hoof,

huffed and shook his heavy crown.

Across the lawn the line is drawn in pine,

whose lean we watch to know when to wear a coat,

and if the blades of grass wear lace, a scarf.

The dawn ambles in from the east

through the neighbor’s yellowing willow;

the pines light up one by one, like lamps,

as if marking the passage of a slow-footed soul.

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