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Go On, Stay
Cati Porter


Praise the Target carpet that holds our cat in repose,
his black body a mossy rock in a lake of geometric flowers.

Praise the coffee table with its heat rings from hot cups
and the pristine coasters in the near basket, unused.

Praise your grandmother’s bentwood rocker with its torn caning
softened by a stained orange pillow, and the history of all those who’ve sat there.

Praise the kitchen cupboard that won’t close, the chipped plates,
the Ikea dishes on the uppermost shelf that we can’t reach.

Praise the made bed with its coverlet dragged across
rumpled flannel sheets even in the hottest months of summer.

Praise the newly-planted picket fence with its white slats
and the Ragged Robin roses we cut to canes in the wrong season.

Praise our older son’s music that emanates from the bathroom.
Praise our younger son’s bicycle that barely fits in the back of the minivan.

Praise the sirens that slide past our house in response
to the crack of a car splitting open, and that it isn’t one of ours.

Praise this house whose old bones shake and rattle
with every truck, every temblor, every heavy bass.

Praise the candles left lit in the night, the house that does not burn.
Praise this perfectly imperfect life. It is ours and ours alone.

© by Cati Porter.
Used with the author’s permission.



Cati Porter is a poet, essayist, and arts administrator. She has been writing and publishing poetry for three decades and is the author of three full length collections of poetry and five chapbooks.
Cati lives with her family in Riverside, California, where she directs Inlandia Institute, a literary nonprofit. Learn more about her at


Post New Comment:
This is an excellent, vividly descriptive poem that conveys a message I think all can relate to--realistic and moving. I especially like the summarizing last line.
Posted 09/22/2021 09:43 AM
I soooooo identify. I love the bentwood rocker with the history of all who sat there :) Charming poem!
Posted 09/22/2021 03:51 AM
This is beautiful and inspires me to make my own list. thank you!
Posted 09/21/2021 05:13 PM
Lori Levy:
Love the focus on the flawed and imperfect.
Posted 09/21/2021 04:04 PM
I will research Ikea dishes as soon as I finish with Frankoma.
Posted 09/21/2021 09:15 AM
This poem makes me love my life even more than I already did. Thank you.
Posted 09/21/2021 08:28 AM
Gilbert Allen:
Lots of compelling images. Well done!
Posted 09/21/2021 08:25 AM
The second stanza made me laugh out loud. A good way to start my day. Thank you!
Posted 09/21/2021 08:08 AM
Larry Schug:
Praise these word, this poem that has found its way inside me today.
Posted 09/21/2021 07:54 AM
Posted 09/21/2021 06:16 AM
Love the celebration of the everyday, the "perfectly imperfect", and the humor!
Posted 09/21/2021 05:51 AM
Shoshauna Shy:
I'm not a religious person, but I say "Amen!" especially to the last strophe, having slept in a house where that very thing happened! Can't help but wonder if that was what triggered this poem.
Posted 09/21/2021 05:40 AM

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