Read the poem ‘What My Backyard Looks Like’ by poet Tara Hiteshew

Read the poem ‘What My Backyard Looks Like’ by poet Tara Hiteshew

House of Abundance Poetry’s four-year anniversary event fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance Poetry (HOA) and introduced an ongoing series with a single-word prompt for each writer: quarantine.

Collective member Tara Hiteshew is a full-time social worker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in Newtown, Conn., and Atlanta. She tells the stories behind the faces at her work within the social service sector. She loves words and the way they move, especially when they’re full of color and truth.

Here is her quarantine poem submission, “What My Backyard Looks Like.”

“What My Backyard Looks Like” by Tara Hiteshew

Broken surgical masks fly like
Manhattans roaches’ in August
onto my porch
(Because there’s no alternate side)
As if to say “I’m still here”

As if to say
I didn’t know there’s 4 mobile morgues
outside my window
Holding stories
bound by ply wood and white roses

It reminds me carefully
That I once came from a place on fire
Where 20 children’s faces were on roses
Like the ash from the war can only be seen by neighbors
Through a suburban fence
Or rusty Bushwick gate
Bodies, however small
Are still

And this is all to say that
I know what
Capturing Gomorrah for Journalism
Looks like
But what if you never got to kiss a face

Find a full schedule of poems, to be released weekly in partnership with House of Abundance, here. For more information, future events, and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram at @abundancehouseof.

Top Image: Poet Tara Hiteshew.