When I said I was ready to settle down by Kelly Jones

When I said I was ready to settle down
Kelly Jones

I think I meant I wanted to put down roots
and stay somewhere long enough

so our neighbors would know our names
and our dog’s name, instead of just nodding

politely as we walk by. And they’d say hi
and strike up conversations. I meant

I wanted to host a backyard barbeque and
project some silly movie on an old white sheet

hung haphazardly from a shed. I think what I meant was
I wanted a shed, with gardening tools in it

and a mower that breaks down at least twice each summer,
making the yard become that thing people point at

and complain about as they drive down our street.
But they’d also comment on our patch of sunflowers

being lovely, and I’d daydream about growing more of them
so I could sell them at the farmer’s market

or to the owner of my favorite coffee shop.
I meant I wanted to learn how to stay somewhere

long enough to have a favorite coffee shop. I
want to develop routines without getting bored.

I want to have a favorite mail carrier, and
a favorite flowering tree in spring. I want

to feel like everything isn’t about to
come crashing down any second now.

Kelly is a queer poet who is studying in the MLIS program, with dreams of being either a librarian or vagabond in the near-ish future.

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