Practicing Staunch//Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo

with a bow to Little Edie




Still in bed on Saturday afternoon isn’t perfectly

normal, with guilt and the cat on the bedspread

and the Internet cascading like a pile of tin cans.

The house, of course, is never perfect, always

has to be done over. It’s hard to get plumbers

into bed with guilt and the cat piled up.


The best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants

or just skip the short skirt completely, if I’m the Internet

cascading the house.  The Halloween garlands

are hanging in the rain and it’s December,

which has to be done over pants, that is to say under

the skirt, so then I can pull the stockings up.


The house isn’t perfectly normal because the door

faces inward, not the street.  And it’s cold, the heat’s

shut off by now.  But the Internet piles up over the pants,

under the skirt; either way it’s hard, of course. I can always

just stay in bed with guilt and the cat, and take off

the short skirt. I can always use it as a cape.


Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo‘s poetry has recently been published in Fourteen Hills and Tupelo Quarterly and is forthcoming in Talking Back and Looking Forward: Poetry and Prose for Social Justice in Education. Elizabeth is a teacher and facilitator who builds skills in justice and compassion. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a cat. Just one.  Read more at and tweet back @poemsjustice.