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About this Poem 

“‘Homeport’ comes from my current manuscript-in-progress, ‘Dots & Dashes,’ which serves as a sequel to my third book, Stateside. In Stateside, I examined my experiences as a Navy wife, looking at the before, during, and after of a deployment. This new book tries to find points of intersection between military personnel and (civilian) creative writers, two communities that sometimes struggle to find a common language.”
Jehanne Dubrow

Homeport

Even on weekends the cruiser 
            would shudder, flicker spaces
                      with a redorange blink,

then a gasket crack or a valve stick shut
as if by weather or malicious hands,
                      the engine room home

            of all catastrophe.

                      I would stretch and reach
across the bed to find furrowed sheets
where my husband had slept until 3 a.m.,

when he answered the captain calling,
            whose perpetual fury machine
was the only system that never broke,

and my husband would yessir to him
who was steamingmad on the ship,
before slipping into the chill of coveralls,

the blueblack uniform of service,
            which in a certain light
                      had the confining fit of love.

Copyright © 2015 by Jehanne Dubrow. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Jehanne Dubrow. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 19, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Jehanne Dubrow

Jehanne Dubrow

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of four poetry collections, including most recently Red Army Red (TriQuarterly Books, 2012) and Stateside (TriQuarterly Books, 2010). She is director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House and an associate professor of creative writing at Washington College, where she edits the national literary journal, Cherry Tree.

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Throughout this course,
we’ll study the American
landscape of our yard, coiled line

of the garden hose,
muddy furrows in the grass
awaiting our analysis,

what’s called close reading
of the ground. And somewhere
something will yip in pain

perhaps, a paw caught in a

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