(Photo of Kelsi Rose)


On belonging; on coming home


I thought, I must belong somewhere
in the mess of this back-road ribcage,
                interlocked lanes,
these foot paths folded
like the map this little town
is painted on.

No one leaves,
they just root themselves
like great old oaks
and spend centuries
growing family trees;

This valley town keeps you trapped.

You canÕt climb these Indian mountains fast enough,
they crumble to mudslides and falling rocks
beneath your feet and drown you in your failures.

I must belong here,
among the barefoot wanderers, among
the river rats and all these dammed up tears.

ThereÕs a hundred years of small-mindedness
coined small town perfection,
lead to believe weÕre the safe haven
from big-city livinÕ

I thought I must belong somewhere
but now itÕs plain to see,
the somewhere I must belong
definitely isnÕt here.






Calls of the whippoorwill,
nocturnal nightjar childhood cradlesong,
catching souls in the interim.

I fell asleep nightly to the woodsong,
the bird cries, the purring of cicadas,
the deep silence of stars.

This is what adolescence used to sound like –
creek speak and creation. 


© Kelsi Rose


Bio:  Kelsi Rose has always lived in Pennsylvania, where her words kicked up the dust of country back roads and always smelled of pressed wildflowers and the faded static of dreams. She has proudly published three collections of poetry: Sparrow (Winter Goose Publishing, 2016,) Paperback Wings and Patchwork Eyes (Winter Goose Publishing, 2018), and 25 Vibes (2019) as well as two chapbooks: The Drowning Girl (2018) and your motherÕs white-washed words(JMF Chapbooks, LLC., 2018). In addition to poetry, she has written one non-fiction book titled How I Became a Time Management Magician and How You Can, Too!  She has also been featured in ten anthologies as well as online. She is currently in pursuit of BachelorÕs Degrees in English Literature and Psychology while she works on her next project.  She has previously been interviewed by Galya Varna of WeArtFriendsÕ magazine, ÒDoorway to Art,Ó Issue 1, 2019.