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Get ready to hear from northern Illinois’ “prose pros." Poetically Yours airs Fridays during Here and Now at 12:31 and All Things Considered at 6:18 p.m. Hosted by WNIJ Arts Reporter Yvonne Boose, you will hear voices from northern Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This weekly segment will give you a moment of pause and reflection as your wind down the week. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration, please send submissions to yboose@niu.edu

Poetically Yours Ep. 63 - Changing Seasons

Le'Ora Monroe - Unsplash.com

Poet describes a particular outdoor structure during colder months.

Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week segment features Madeline Simms.

Simms lives in Galesburg, Illinois. She’s a community outreach coordinator for the Galesburg Civic Art Center. Today she writes about the upcoming colder months in her poem “Shed.”

Snakeskin in the snow,

there is no order

to shedding weather

alongside city drips,

run off

under the train tracks. Even in the thick

of winter, there is movement:

the expulsion and expansion

within skin without

the body. Buried

like a hollow, domestic

creak, the space

for sound

becomes for growth

and so we say,

floorboard, door hinge.

There is seldom a voice

for what is cultivated beyond

an imperfect threshold:

field mice inside the shed

alongside the rest of the forgotten,

boiling over: the

Fisher-Price kitchen-set

fading from small hands

hard at work and years

in the sun. Gnawed cotton,

a spokeless bike tire

like a melted utensil left on the stove-top too


To know the shed before

like I know this after: peeling,

burdenless and breathing.

IMG_0657 2.JPG
Provided by Madeline Simms
Madeline Simms

The coat slumped on the floor, sock balled up

inside a fitted sheet

a knot in long hair —all

irrevocable after movement

comes before something again:

matched and smooth, breaching

temporal. A pine tree year-round. Pickled

green beans, canned

tomato juice from hands long gone

all this lack and potential

on one bowed shelf alone.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.