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HomeWords: A Project of the Poet Laureate of Kansas
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Simone Briand

This week’s theme is HOME AS HOUSE.  Our poets explore “house” through the door of the American Cinquain—22 syllables divided among five lines in this order:  2, 4, 6, 8, and back to 2.

Simone Briand of Overland Park was born and raised in Ness City. A librarian by day and writer by night, she loves books, road trips, wide open spaces, and music from all eras. The contrast between inside and outside is pointed up by the poem’s surprise.  
My folks
Knew this old porch
Watched spiders weave at night
Turning their backs to the chaos

Martha Robbins of Cummings is a floral still-life photographer who loves poetry. Here’s another approach that combines inside and outside.   
My house
possesses all
who dwell within its walls
and jointly claims the neighbor’s cat

Kaitlin Phifer is a high school student in Pittsburg. Again, here’s another inside/outside point-of-view poem.  
And how
is it that my
old home will protect me
from the weather that Kansas will
bring us.

Weather, cats, and spiders—they all come through our walls.  
HomeWords is a weekly column that runs through National Poetry Month (April) as Wyatt Townley finishes her term as Poet Laureate of Kansas. To read past columns, visit