The Adult Creative Writing Group meets once a month at the Westlake Porter Public Library. The group is open to any adult interested in spending an hour indulging in some spontaneous creativity. Creativity is about discovery, and that can take many forms, writing being one of them. Join us and learn something new about yourself and the world!

The following are some creations from a member of the group, Orla Cafferkey.

My Last Night

In the middle of the night, my last night,
I awake, frozen with angst.
A vision of the Plough, dramatically vertical 
– as if it might tip over backwards 
Is framed perfectly by my tall and narrow bedroom window.
When will I get to see this night-glory again? 

I don’t want to pack too much. 
I want to have it all to come back to.

And so empty suitcases will fly across the Atlantic,
Filled with the memory-taste of milk, honey and wild salmon
And the captured vision of a winter moon rising over Inishbiggle
And heavy with the pull from home 
And the lost freedoms 
Of the keys left in the ignition overnight  
Or the child safe to be outside on his own.


In the middle of the night, my last night,
I remembered my teenage hands cupped my face 
As I peered in through the boarded-up window.

A black and dusty kitchen stove.
Bare chairs and a table.

Left on top of the table, an electric iron
With a wooden handle and a brown cord 
—– A rush out the door perhaps
—–After breakfast, dishes washed and dried
—–After starched shirt collars pressed 
—–A family looking their best
—–For the journey, for America.

A tea towel over the stove
Hung up to dry.
For decades.

I think about the woman who placed it there
And how she too might once have had plans to return,
To fold the tea towel, to put away the iron, 
To raise her family.

When the slates started falling off the roof
And the walls became too crumbling and too close,
To the now bigger, now busier road,
A dereliction order was put on the house
And a letter of notice was sent to the family in Cleveland.

No response. 

And so the house came down. 
And today nothing can be seen 
Of where I once looked in 
Or of where they once looked out. 


In the middle of the night, my last night
I get up 
I fold little clothes, tiny socks.
I squeeze them into suitcases, 
With cherished teddies.
I think again about what to bring and what to leave.
I write lists and cross things off.
I write more lists.

I think about things you can’t get in Cleveland.
Carrageen. Sudocrem. The ocean. 
Brave, bare and vulnerable conversations.
Until you’re there long enough that you forget you need them.

The box of boys’ clothes that are too big just yet 
Can stay ‘til we come back. 
And the toys too.

I think carefully as I watch myself hang up the tea towel to dry.

©️ Orla Cafferkey

Victoria Vogel

Adult Services Associate