Poetry/Creative non-fiction/fiction

Cache Valley Food Pantry January 16, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 7:19 pm
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Cart by cart they came in. Little girls

With moms, men with white hair, snot

Dripping from their noses. They get five

Breads and three deserts Moses tells me.

He takes a bite of a yellow apple that he

sets on the wooden bench behind us.


The cement room’s windows are layered with

Frost. Moses grabs the front of the carts to pull

The next person inside. Their journey beginning,

Each eye looks over the desert table As they pass.

It is their last stop.


One man blocks the path. He says again

And again that he needs a bigger box

To carry all his food on the bus.  Moses

And I empty a French bread box. He takes

It and leaves.


A woman complains about the cottage

Cheese. A volunteer with a dark beard

Who sits in a metal chair tells her that

At least it’s food. Free food.


A little Spanish girl with a pink skirt

Skips in. She grabs at the pumpkin

Cookies I am setting out. She pierces

The room with screams as her mom

Places her in the cart. No one looks

Back. They push forward.


One after the other they are lead in.

Their procession begins under a

White tarp outside and it ends

With cookies, cakes, and bread.


They smile as they put it the treats in

Their carts. Jay will want this some say.

These are Maddie’s favorite whispers

Another.  Moses in his red checkered

Jacket, face outlined in deep rivets

Smiles back.





Brisk Air January 10, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 4:58 am
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Idaho plays dead in the winter. The maze of cotton woods

Become bare brown knots.  The slew sits still, solidifying

Deeper and deeper in cracked bubble sheets.


My cat disappears most days. Her fur thick as a rabbits,

Glows. I can barely make her out as she paws through

Snow towards my, Here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty.


At sunrise, my gaze catches east, towards the Menan

Buttes. The sun’s blanket of gold shatters the peaks.

Light stretches to the box car barn, and the feeding

Shed, erasing the shadow of numbing air from the

Gray wood.


Melting January 8, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — jessicacolleenmcdermott @ 6:23 am
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I zip up my green coat that my step-mom

bought me for Christmas last year and brave

the winter air. Somewhere along my path the

zipper’s teeth unhook. My belly bare open I cringe.


I rip.  The zipper won’t loosen. Josh has to force it apart

in the library parking lot. I am his kid. Standing arms limp,

face distraught. Just use the snaps for now, he says. We walk


to the basement so he can show me Pott’s archives. I feel lose.

Apart from it all. I stare out the glass wall at the mountains.

They piece together like a pop-up book. Each curve a piece

of the other. At the bottom they melt into the ground.

Their bodies one eternal round.