A Poem About Returning Home

by Amanda Beth Peery

Arriving late at almost midnight
after an interminable drive
but somehow still too early
to your childhood home
you see everything clearly,
as you left it, a few glasses
in the sink, and a slim vase
holding deep-pigmented zinnias
encased in water hazy as a still lagoon
on the homemade kitchen table.
“I grow them. The colors are
outrageous, aren’t they? Unreal.”
A beetle hurdles across the window
over the expanse of dark glass and
when Ms Green’s mother disappears
with the panting dog into the back room
the kitchen belongs to the small
armored and soft animals
that risk crossing.