Neighborhood – Catherine Zickgraf


In her blue robe,

Mom would light up beacons from her woes,

flashing on the porchlight among row homes.


Needing safety,

I’d leave home after bedtime, and row across

sparkle-snow, and drag my footpaths through

the pines, past a creek bridge, and abandoned

railroad ties. I’d follow telegraph roads under

the ocean, seeking the eternal glow of escape.


me-and-grandmoms-picCatherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write poetry. Her work has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press and is available on Watch and read more of her poetry at


One thought on “Neighborhood – Catherine Zickgraf

  1. Ron first reading it’s a nice memoir, then there is a click and you ask what does this mean? So one reads again, its brevity allows several run throughs. Another layer goes, the constant theme of moving away. I particularly like the image of the abandoned rail ties, image of the slave railroad, then the under ocean communications…
    On returning to the first image, I am reminded of one of the first acts of Irish President Mary McAleese, back in the days of the Irish Tiger Economy; she had a light placed permanently in a window of Áras an Ucterann to guide home those Irish Immigrants that wished to return home.

    Lovely poem Catherine.

    Liked by 1 person

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