Dawn Pendergast

Plain as our ways we/I are

embrace wheat fields

& goldplaces; we show up

& count

to ten one thousand thousand times

to the point of nervous seas, God I–

now me People eat zero

Day rots off

ones tens thousands crumpling

to muffing


beans, Lord.

I half my hands,

rent my house.

Dawn Pendergast lives in Houston, Texas. She’s written four chapbooks: Sea Quills (Beard of Bees, forthcoming), leaves fall leaves (Dusie Kollectiv 2011), Off Flaw (Dusie Kollectiv 2010), and Mexico City (Macaw Macaw Press 2010). She is currently an editor for Little Red Leaves (littleredleaves.com) and produces handmade chapbooks for the textile series (www.textileseries.com). More of her writing can be found on her website (whatbirdsgiveup.com).

“My front porch was not in the front. It wrapped around the back of our lakehouse, had astroturf, mildew spots, a swing, nails for towels, homemade water skis, and a dinner triangle. I think it’s the dinner triangle I remember most vividly because it rusted and rang, rang, rang. From the porch, I watched my brothers tinker around on an awfully temperamental golf cart. Dad cleaned fish, tossing their triangular heads into the bushes. I swung with my sister until Mom pronounced us dry enough to come in; come in and eat popsicles, hot dogs, fruit-roll-ups, and goldfish. You could not see the lake from the porch for all the trees and birds and snakes and bugs. You could not make anything out at night, playing Boggle under yellowy lights that made everyone look more tired. Perhaps we were. I have no single memory of the porch. It was one continual swoop of movement in and out, packing and vacuuming, flippity flopping across all the summers, all time, a stack of mulberry pancakes, a plastic whiffle ball singing past me.”