Ann Keiffer


When I travel from my home in California
to visit family in Ohio–where my people
live spread out on the green and rolling,
with passels of kids, devoted to their
church life and one another, visiting back
and forth amid all the goings-on of each
other’s lives, I wonder if I seem a loner,
an observer, the odd one out, removed,
a distant relative. We share the same
DNA, the same memories and values,
but I’ve lived far away for fifty years now.
When I come home to them, I experience
my big family and their wide community
as a swiftly moving, dazzlingly spinning
carousel-calliope, all my family galloping
as one on the indestructible horses of faith,
work, devotion, conviction, action and so
much interaction, the whole amazing
spectacle well-tended, -oiled, -anchored
at the center, moving unstoppably. And
me, a visitor from Planet Elsewhere,
standing outside the circle, uncertain I
possess the velocity, timing, energy, or
will to jump into the spin as they flash
by, their hands out waving me aboard.
A refugee from a quiet writer’s life and
a small circle of family and beloveds in
California, I hardly know what to make
of carousel-calliopes. I stand there on
the edge, my suitcase in my hand,
unsure what to say or do, looking on.

Ann Keiffer
June, 2016

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About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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