Two Poems by LeeAnn Pickrell

The other side of the front door

My parents sold the house on Forest Bend
without giving me a chance to see it one more time.

I had just gotten married. Maybe they thought
I didn’t care, lived in another state, would never

come home to live again. Home. That house on
Forest Bend, a house without trees, in a new

1967 subdivision. The house that surrounded me
in wood-paneled walls, blond brick, a fireplace

rarely lit, a pool where I lived my teenage
summers. Where I learned to drink behind

slammed doors, boundaries drawn and crossed.
The house where I played dress up, dancing in

the living room in Mardi Gras beads and my
mother’s pink negligée. The house where we ate

fondue, my mother wore brown hot pants,
a house of gin and scotch and the scent of Nina Ricci

perfume as my mother bent to kiss me goodnight,
the house where I played my tennis racket guitar

on the bright green carpet my dad had picked out.
The house I returned to when life fell apart,

where I could close the front door of a half-asleep
home that wouldn’t betray its inner secrets.


Hunting for a poem

Like the lone
snowy egret
hunts for breakfast
in the shallows of
Salmon Creek,
brackish from years
of drought.
Last week’s
atmospheric river,
the first rain since
winter and it’s
November now.
Fog drips from the eaves.
The ocean churns
on the other side
of the dunes.
Now I sit,
coffee in hand,
on the cottage’s
small sun porch
reaching for words
to feed a morning.
The egret
takes flight,
following the curve
of the creek
that has to stretch farther
to reach the ocean
every year.


LeeAnn Pickrell is a poet, freelance editor, and managing editor of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals, most recently in Loud Coffee Press, Atlanta Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and The Marin Poetry Review, and the anthologies Coffee Poems and A Gathering of Finches. She has a book forthcoming from Unsolicited Press. She lives in Richmond, California, with her partner and two cats.