Complexities of Home – Ellen Roberts Young

Pillowcases dangle,

clothespins fallen, three

sheets to the wind.


I head upstairs, past the clock

on the landing, my arms

full of sheets to fold, interlayered

with irritation and affection.

I have landed on the main

coast of adulthood:


chipped dishes, crumbs

on placemats, an empty

bandaid box, little oranges

fallen out of their mesh bag,

gone too dry to peel.


I wish for an island cabin, distant views,

slow tides. Water brings no escape:

dishes return to shelves, to use, to sink,

clothes pile up in the laundry basket.

I throw in the towel, after I wipe the tile.


My task: to keep this vessel shipshape

that never leaves its concrete pier.

The clock chimes the hours

as if something were adding up.



Ellen Roberts Young

Ellen Roberts Young is a member of the writing community in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She has published two chapbooks with Finishing Line Press, Accidents (2004) and The Map of Longing (2009) and one full-length book, Made and Remade, (WordTech Editions, 2014), as well as in many journals. She is a co-editor of Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders Journal and blogs intermittently at

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