Upton Ave House: A Poem for the Closing

Here, my marriage opened

Like a pomegranate, my eyes


On each blood-slick jewel and not

On the empty spaces. Not on 90 years


Of wear on the woodwork.

Not on a porch slanting,


Bent deeply into its longing

For earth.


Here, my husband arched above my body,

Arms like the doorway


To a European church

That’s been filled with art


And bones, emptied

Of shame. Candles to give prayers


A flame. My body rose like a thin scar.

Here, our baby slept


On her wedge of rolled towel.

Her lips and chin moved through the night


Remembering comfort.

Here, our dog circled himself


Before lying down.

Outside, branches stretched above the roof,


Shuddering and helicoptering,

Leaves shadowing our house into


The eight dark rooms of two hearts.



Jennifer Manthey is an MFA student at Hamline University in St Paul. She has served as the assistant poetry editor for the Water~Stone Review, and is the current Associate Editor of Poetry and Non-Fiction for Runestone Journal. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Rise Up Review, Literary Mama, and Poetry City, among others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry in 2016.