How Love Builds a Home


Replace fences with overturned lawn chairs.
Drape them with towels and blankets
– forts for the children of summer.

Adorn picture windows in autumn
with crimson construction-paper leaves,
carefully cut with your own calloused hands.

Decoupage pumpkins and gourds.
Hang felt jack-o-lanterns with crooked smiles
ascending a wrought-iron banister.

Dip blueberry muffins in cinnamon
and sugar. Pack them in a basket
for a grieving neighbor.

Pipe frosted bowties on gingerbread men.
Cut reindeer antlers from cardboard boxes.
Apply red glitter to young noses.

Shovel snow so wet and heavy
it makes your heart light.
Follow with fireside jigsaws and cocoa.

Paper your walls with memories.
Frame your front door with kindness.
Extend your hand across the threshold.

About Shawn Aveningo Sanders

Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as a show-me girl from Missouri and, after a bit of globetrotting, finally landed in Portland, Oregon. There she overcame her fear of birds upon meeting two baby juncos in her backyard. Shawn’s work has appeared in over 130 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box, as well as managing editor for The Poeming PigeonShawn is a proud mother of three amazing adults, and she shares the creative life with her husband. 

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