Lee Rossi

Lee Rossi

Lee Rossi is a winner of the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize and the Steve Kowit Prize. His latest book is Darwin’s Garden. Individual poems have appeared in The Southwest Review, Rattle, The Northwest Review, Spillway and The Southern Review. He is a member of the Northern California Book Reviewers and a Contributing Editor to Poetry Flash and Pedestal.

Poem on Belonging


I am from Indian-head test patterns

From 20 Mule Team Borax and “pluck your magic twanger, Froggie”

I am from the last house on the left,

cinder blocks, two stories, fresh pink tuck pointing

I am from elephant garlic,

each whip crowned with flowers

I’m from wine drinkers and prize fighters

From Leo (not Gali-leo) and Gaia (not Mother Earth)

I’m from children should be seen and not heard, from don’t let the dog in the house

From keep your nose clean, and keep your nose to the grindstone

I’m from Stations of the Cross and Confession every month

I’m from Torino, out of New Orleans and the Guinea-hating South

Ham hocks with black-eyed peas and Chef Boy-ar-dee

From the service revolver my dad kept in his top drawer

From the costume jewelry that slept beside the gun

You’ll find it all in my book, the one I didn’t write

on the shelf beside all the other unwritten books

my family, our neighbors, the all but forgotten

Copyright © 2022 by Lee Rossi. Used with permission of the author.

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