Grace Anne Richardson


I Fall Out of Trees

I am nine years
old again in the
branches of my
favorite oak but
it feels different and
clumsier than

i know if I
climb high
enough the fire
truck will come to
fetch me down
so instead i dive

into its tree-hole
and find a squirrel
family having a supper
of figs there is
a fire going and
one extra place
mat which seems too
good to be true
I think

before i remember
that I hit a squirrel
last week with my
toyota camry
on the way to work

The Home and the Evacuation Plan

Last night, I stuffed my stilettos with three sheets of paper towel. I knew that my feet would swell by the end of the night to make them fit. And even then too tight. When you look closely, the body shows the heart begging for a larger casing. And we hope that one exists. You’ve seen the way hermit crabs abandon their shells. When they outgrow their homes, they form a conga line for the exchange. Conga lines make everyone happy, but no one wonders what happens to that smallest shell left. These vacated homes are the leftover parts of ourselves. They live forever, like the smallest loves we try to forget. Love is a cardboard box taped shut. You are my corners and my container.

Grace Anne Richardson is graduating from Lipscomb University this spring. She’s not just a self-proclaimed poet, but is also a self-diagnosed hypochondriac. She is a chronically slow Diet Coke sipper, and a Dance Moms fan. She loves to hike as long as snacks are readily available and enjoys oatmeal, but would not consider herself an enthusiast.

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