Poetry: After Proverbs 9

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After Proverbs 9


A very long time ago, Wisdom had built herself a house — and after, she tended to her garden, while trying to ignore the neighbors’ chatter. “Weeds,” this. “Overgrowth,” that. “Can’t even see the porch,” one always complained. 


Every day, the ivy clung close, and loose leaves danced, made shadows against pale shutters. Wisdom just hummed quietly to herself, finished her outdoor chores by taking a homemade broom to her sidewalk, so that the path remained clear for any visitors. 


One neighbor, pink foam curlers her crown of choice, asked Wisdom how business had been. It was a sneaky question. The Bed and Breakfast can’t have made much money this year, Pink Curlers thought. “Go to Hell,” Wisdom sang in reply.


No one talks of the seven pillars. They don’t hold much fascination, these days. But one neighbor says the peonies look really good this season. “They look fine every season,” Wisdom scoffs.


Once, a guest dared to suggest she was foolish to ignore the ivy roping so tightly onto the bricks of her home. The scorn started to boil the bile in Wisdom until she told it to stop: because she knew better, she said nothing, and instead chose to sit idly by her window, which overlooked the entire town. No one remembers the guest’s name.


Shannon McKeehen

Shannon McKeehen is a disabled Quaker, poet, and teacher whose poems have appeared in such journals as The Cedarville Review, Read More

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