Western Friend logo


Joann Renee Boswell
On Wealth (May 2020)
Inward Light


slippery memories drape
          sheet-like over furniture,

          create sticky mausoleums
out of half-chewed pencils

and worn-once onesies.
          rosy rearview Past leeches

          Future out of Present, like color
sun-bleached away on the line.

nostalgia-infused items linger,
          paralyzing generosity. I

          grip clothespins, rail
                    against impermanence,

wrap finger strings tighter,
          hoard fear like clearance

          dryer sheets I don’t even want.
three friends are pregnant.

first babies. my heart
          retreats, eyeing our crib

                    (teeth marks from two.
          the last, more content,

just waited for morning).
          Capitalism whispers

          w  h  a  t          i  f  .  .  . ?
implying resurrection of need.

Hospitality replies
          w  h  a  t          i  f  .  .  .

          we all open our homes
like libraries? free

membership for all. exchange
          as often as circumstance

          and reinvention desire.
buy nothing

as often as possible.
          shake dust gathered

          from the storm of Too Much.
relax curled yearning

from clothesline plenty. clip
          compassion like lawn art

          flapping in the breeze,
signaling red carpet reception.

replace belongings
          with snug connections.

          shift loved items
to new loved beings.


                    trust my own Welcome
                    when evening winds ease.


Joann Renee Boswell is a teacher, mother, photographer and poet currently living in Camas, WA with her partner and three children. Some recent places she’s been published include Untold Volumes, Mothers Always Write, For Women Who Roar, and VoiceCatcher. Her first book of poetry and photography, Cosmic Pockets, is expected June 2020 through Fernwood Press. Read more at joannrenee.com. Joann attends Camas Friends Church and is a member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends.

consumerism Time generosity Family

Return to "On Wealth" issue