Exodus into Suburbia

By Alexis Draut

Louisville. South side suburb
synthetic flowers in hospital room: I
came out crying, gills for lungs in a
basket on the Ohio River, baptized
in July fireworks and thunder

Favorite color was swing set under sky,
leaves dried on sidewalk, Mother cried
for City’s mercy, peach trees in Saint
Matthews always with barren seeds,
sewer fish thirsty for feet

Swim through humid autumns,
hands grown from a holy love of
pumpkin guts, baseball cap covering
sunscreened red bangs behind third,
a mitt ready to catch the foul

A first sorrow: bikes don’t teach 
flying lessons. A second: blue television
living room light pixel grained breath – 
every sun-filled minute of spring
drenched in Dogwood-soaked sweat

July locusts, popcorn and lemonade 
stands, selling watermelon just beyond
front room mustard walls: who knew a
small house could claim an entire decade,
Lourdes’ bells fill a child’s first gasp

About the Author: Alexis Draut (she/her/hers) is a nature writer who has worked for a small-town newspaper, an organic farm, and a study abroad program. Her poetry, which she describes as place-based, has been published in The Social Justice Review, Havik Anthology and Internet Void. Alexis recently earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University (Pittsburgh, PA), and is currently working on her Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Kentucky. She is a native Kentuckian, born and raised in Louisville.