PORTRAIT IN WATERCOLOR / the inhabitants of houses By Ave Jeanne Ventresca

PORTRAIT IN WATERCOLOR / the inhabitants of houses

below this geometry of geese, whose
wings of symmetry crosses
sky all chubby clouds, and within earth
of different shades of brown,
we build houses.

we fill them with bison hides and
reassuring old chairs, coneflowers, and
nights of dancing. to keep them resilient,
every wall owns its own pigment, each
floor contains a certain number of tears,
and intricate patterns of tradition. we give

them inhabitants. allow them dreaming
and anticipation. adorn them with hymns
for unforeseen directions. we call them by
name, pronounce each out loud when we
make love or share faces
with death. we speak
these names, light like feathers, on days
of importance. when throats are dry
and memories many. below these rooftops

we create
purposeful arrangements of adjectives and
nouns to make emotions noticeable to others.
we gather corn, bean, and conversations,
constantly aware how wind flows bold, and
seasons become full. the years grow like
inflexible calendar pages.

like large buffalo, we tend to together stand,
in graveyards where silence is the home.
now, relying on weeds and thick roots
to support our heavy skulls.

Previously published in IHRAF Writes Literary Journal.

By Ave Jeanne Ventresca


Ave Jeanne Ventresca (aka: ave jeanne) is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry reflecting social and environmental concerns. Poetry from her most recent collection, Noticing The Colors of Ordinary, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019. Her award winning poetry has been widely published internationally within commercial and literary magazines, in print and online. She edited the acclaimed literary magazine Black Bear Review, and served as publisher of Black Bear Publications for twenty years. Her background includes the teaching of both young students and teachers, as well as book editing and reviewing of historical fiction novels.

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