The Home I Abandoned by Bethany Jarmul

The Home I Abandoned

I’d touch our home—
the red-brick house
at the end of a dead-end
street, with my heels,
our neighbor’s with my palms.

Scripture hanging on the walls.
My father’s fiddle atmospheric
in folk song, hymn.

A cracked alley, hills with oak,
maple, sycamore leaves loose.

The Appalachians as
makers, mothers, or

The girl who caught fireflies
in Tupperware, bare toes in moss,
marveled at hail clanging
against the tinny awning
over the porch.


Bethany Jarmul’s work has appeared in more than 50 literary magazines—including Salamander, Emerge Journal, Cease Cows—and been nominated for Best of the Net and Best Spiritual Literature. Her prose poem chapbook This Strange and Wonderful Existence is forthcoming from Bottlecap Press. Her nonfiction chapbook Take Me Home is forthcoming from Belle Point Press. She earned first place in Women on Writing’s Q2 2022 & Q2 2023 essay contests. Her essay “Intersections” earned the award for “Best in Show: Creative Nonfiction” for Winter 2023 from Inscape Journal. She lives near Pittsburgh. Connect with her at or on Twitter: @BethanyJarmul.

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