SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: KENDRA GRANT MALONE


A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN BE ALONE
by Kendra Grant Malone

WHEN I GOT OFF THE TRAIN TONIGHT
I WANTED TO BE
BACK IN THE MIDWEST
THERE WAS NO REAL PROMPT
FOR IT
MY BRAIN WAS SUDDENLY
FLOODED WITH IDEAS
OF LAYING IN FIELDS
AT NIGHT ALONE
AND BEING ABLE TO SEE VERY FAR
A PLACE WITH NO HILLS
I WANTED TO BE
IN A PLACE
WHERE YOU COULD BE
ALONE AT NIGHT
AND HEAR THE INSECTS
SWARMING ABOVE YOU
AROUND YOU
A PLACE
WHERE YOU CAN SEE
THE WHOLE MILKY WAY
I DIDN’T WANT TO BE
IN NEW YORK
THE SMELL
IS AWFUL HERE
AND SO IS
THE CROWDING
I WANTED TO BE ALONE
LIKE YOU ONLY KNOW
WHEN YOU ARE FROM THE MIDWEST
WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE
TO DRIVE TWENTY MINUTES AWAY
AND BE THE ONLY HUMAN BEING
FOR MILES AND MILES
I WANT TO SPOON
THE CORN STALKS
TO SLEEP TONIGHT

(“A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN BE ALONE” was originally published in The Offending Adam and is reprinted here today with permission from the poet.)

Kendra Grant Malone lives with her cat Delores Grant Malone. Her first collection of poetry, Everything Is Quiet, is available at scrambler books. You can also visit her website to read more about her work and her cat at kendralovely.blogspot.com.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poem is dedicated to all of my Midwestern friends, particularly those of you who hail from the quiet sparse spaces. While so many of you have been eager to leave the stillness of that life behind for more urban pastures, I think you know what this poem is speaking to. How one might, in a moment overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of city life, long “to drive twety minutes away and be the only human being for miles and miles,” “to spoon the corn stalks to sleep,” “to be alone like you only know when you are from the Midwest.” Perhaps you’re back in your Midwestern home today for the holiday, and perhaps this poem will help you to better appreciate your return.

Want to read more by and about Kendra Grant Malone?
Buy her book!
Kendra’s Blog
The Offending Adam