The Works of Stephanie Kraft 

Stephanie Kraft is a newspaper reporter for whom poetry, like reporting, is about getting to the bottom of something. Her poems have appeared in Christian Century, EarthSpeak Magazine and the Prose Poem Project


All Poems © Stephanie Kraft

The Son, Aged 17, Moves Out of the House


Your smile flashes around the doorpost, sly one,

the grin you’ve been honing since you first

rolled your flamingo into a ball and trounced me at croquet.

Now the smile is a highly polished instrument for mocking,

gently, maternal frettings.


You laugh at me as I inventory,

like a hand of cards, the furniture in your apartment:

          the overstuffed green chair

          the slant-top desk that looks like a portable organ

          the pine dresser from your room at home.

Tonight my heart will play this hand again

and again, knowing that winning will not bring you back

through any looking glass, to the first room,


The one you lay in when your oyster eyes

blinked from the pocket of an afghan bunting.

Then we held the key. You hold it now.

Uncatchable as a climbing cat, you leave us,

your smile loitering in the treetops.