Maranda Stewart

Maranda Stewart has her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry from Rosemont College. Her voice varies from piece to piece from snarky, to narrative, to melodramatic. Her poems stand out thanks to often strange and juxtaposing images that often give the poems a feeling of surrealism. Maranda has been a reader for Matter Press Literary Journal and Philadelphia Stories, and her work has appeared in the Barefoot Review and Red River Review. She is currently working to finish her first book-length manuscript and lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania.


For Birds

I can see hopping birds from my
front porch steady in quiet mornings
horrible nights, sudden afternoons.
Grass clippings hang from the edges reminding
me of tomorrow when I should be absorbing
the freshly cut grass. My husband and I sit and try
not to think about the slate inching slowly
off the roof, letting bats crowd the upstairs.

We can only think of the front porch, filled with peanut shells,
cigarettes, shoe laces, sometimes cob webs which
we quickly sweep up even if we don’t know why.
Sometimes there are people, sometimes there aren’t
sometimes pumpkins, sometimes eggs, strawberries
upside down in dollar store topsy-turveys.

The rose bush is coming over the side, so close
it is touching the lawn chair, and sweeping against
our folding table where we sometimes sit
and drink coffee to the cabbage growing in our garden.

One day my husband pointed to a bird, which I could not see,
he stood up and fell head first off of the edge,
taking the grass clippings with him,
I picked him out and suddenly he was old,
the time had swept through, the porch a wind
tunnel for it, we had not known that years had
gone by, we had not known that our knees began
to mimic the sound of the wood on the porch
having been coated and revealed from seasons on end.

We had not known that our backs could no longer
hold us upright, or that our eyes couldn’t read the paper.
Now we sit on the porch watching
the sun slowly set, reaching out to capture it
realizing that if we didn’t we might not see it again,
I mostly try to papier-mâché my life
into hot air balloons for the grandkids, and he shows
me birds that are not there.

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