Meghan Sterling: Portrait

Deep rain, the night stretching long into morning,
the day’s portrait: muted leaves, soggy toys scattered across a yard. 
All night long I dreamt of my family’s homeland, watching 
from the arms of an old oak—Tennessee farmyards, barns 
and fields dotted with cattle. The rain wound its way in 
as a river rushing along the base of the hills, carrying 
small yellow boats like boots filled with straw. Portrait of a place—
every house for sale, every house an Airbnb: soulless, spotless, 
with a guest book perched on the kitchen counter. Someone else’s 
baby in my arms. Someone else’s floor beneath my feet. In the dream, 
I was searching for somewhere to rest—stairwell, porch, basement, 
attic, but all were full of knick-knacks, family rustling around old chests 
looking for heirlooms, biting coins to test their worth. I ended up 
in the bathroom, counting the tiles, counting the drips from the tap 
as the rain pursued its ends relentlessly, claiming its place.


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