Cathy Cultice Lentes’ “Ten Years”

I was so happy yesterday to receive this beautiful new chapbook, Getting the Mail, by Cathy Cultice Lentes.  I met Cathy a couple of years ago at a weekend retreat at the Hindman Settlement School.  In addition to writing poetry, Cathy is also an essayist and children’s writer.  But it’s her poetry that is on full display in this collection, published by Finishing Line Press.  So many of Cathy’s poems explore everyday magic.  Pasted below is one of my favorites, “Ten Years.”  I hope you’ll read it and then buy the book.


Ten Years

Ten years this house stood vacant.
The woods never forgave us
for trying to take it back.
Birds insist the porch is theirs, nest
after nest, egg after egg. Uneven
floorboards sink toward soil, rotting
slowly back to earth.
Maple trees spread arms to block
our view of cars and people passing by
so even we forget to which world we belong.

Long ago we lost our fear of spiders,
bats, and other creatures that creep and claw.
We painted all the walls forest green, and it
is hard to tell where inside ends and outside
starts. Soon all semblance of civility will
be gone—
we’ll fail to dress, eat only what
presents itself, live hairy and howling
under a roof of stars.

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