Kelley Jean White Debuts

Miles to Go


On the shores of Winnepasaukee

in the nearly empty Belmont Mall,

I watched a man with no shoes or sandals

buy pizza near Santa’s throne. He stood

with the pizza rolled and red sauce running

down his chin, saying, you want presents

I’ll give you presents. It was March, mud season,

the reindeer and tinsel sagging, old.

Two girls in matching hoodies laughed

behind their hands, and twisted rolls of shiny

licorice into knotted necklace bands. I thought

of another holiday arriving soon

with a rather frightening rabbit

seated on the throne—like Jimmy Stewart’s

Pooka, or my own, that shining night.

Then I saw the man had blue eyes

and his hair was turning white—like a grand

patriarch rabbit, with his pink and twitching nose.

I finished off my french-fries, bought some

licorice and went home


in the dark

my little clock shines

its green into all my nights

it wakes me up too

many mornings that are gray

it rings in my ears

like it has something to say

and your radio announces

the news even on mornings

I don’t sleep at home

but you, little flashlight

sit idly on my bureau

waiting for a power failure

your sight so reassuring

I assume you are reliable

but if memory serves me

right called to action

you glimmer dimly a moment

and go out—batteries

in the drawer

of another bureau another home


 All the best journals

 are ashamed of me.

They know I’m a trollop for poems.

My profligacy displeases them.

They’re embarrassed to take me home.

I cull them from my shelf

to donate to the library yard sale.

Nobody buys them.

I can’t even give them away.

They’re too glossy to use as tinder.

They’re left for the recycle bin.

I’ve got to admit I didn’t read them

since they didn’t let me in.


Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are TOXIC ENVIRONMENT (Boston Poet Press) and TWO BIRDS IN FLAME (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.


About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at
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One Response to Kelley Jean White Debuts

  1. Jeanette Gallagher says:

    I enjoyed Ms. White’s poems very much. All three had an interesting theme. The middle poem, “in the dark” was my favorite!

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