When Stevie Nicks Was a Witch in Florida by T. J. Butler

Photo of coastline covered with trees

When Stevie Nicks was a witch in Florida, I sent her letters on stationery purchased from the canteen. The new girl at the youth residential center told me her mother was Stevie Nicks, and also a witch. I was fourteen, a year into the system. I didn’t ask why Stevie Nicks’s daughter was also there. Anything was possible; lies about mothers, or the real reasons kids were there: I’d been stealing cars since I was eleven, or my teachers kept calling the social workers, or, my mom’s in jail for selling drugs. I heard the … Continue reading When Stevie Nicks Was a Witch in Florida by T. J. Butler

Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Photo of alarm clock and calendar

feels this way. Familiar like the abstract place you grab for when you’re curled in despair on your own kitchen floor begging to go home, not knowing where you mean. No matter whose hair and breath lend the other pillowcase its scent, which farm grew this squash so delicately sliced, whose face you lean toward, lips to their ear, cupping a joke. No matter which gone person you scan the crowd for year after year. Whitney Hudak is a CNM and poet living in Newport, R.I. Her work has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal and … Continue reading Each Year by Whitney Hudak

Therapy Ten Years Later by Claire Scott

Photo of someone sitting, holding an axe

  He looked small, curled up on her couch this handsome boy/man not looking at her picking his fingernails jiggling his foot a whisper of a beard on his face he was silent she waited he cleared his throat, said he had the same nightmare every night dreams of carrying wood up a mountain, walking with his father who he trusted more than God walking with his father who he loved more than God Dreams of an altar a fire, a sacrifice did it really happen? were his hands really bound? a knife at his … Continue reading Therapy Ten Years Later by Claire Scott

Millionaire by Steven Deutsch

Photo of man putting wallet into inside coat pocket

I heard him say it dozens of times, but the first time I said it I laughed out loud. Dad never had two extra nickels to rub together— my parents the king and queen of getting by— and, get by they did— money not nearly as important as a house full of family. He was a soft touch— never able to say no to a friend. I often wonder how he’d fare today when money is god and we worship those who have gobs and gobs of it, like we worshipped the gods of mayhem … Continue reading Millionaire by Steven Deutsch

Casting the Current and What’s Forgotten, 2 poems by Ronald Stottlemyer

river, man and boy fishing in evening light

Casting the Current I waited hours on the bank while Dad kept trying for a couple browns. He was far downstream when the first big drops cratered the water. All afternoon, the dark bruise of a storm had been closing in over the hills, but he waded out farther with the rushing current, casting long, slow loops over the ripples, some lifted by breezes, others blown aside like a bird in a gust of wind. Cigarette dangling, he moved carefully, shifting his footing around slippery rocks, past slopes that fell away in darkness below, someone … Continue reading Casting the Current and What’s Forgotten, 2 poems by Ronald Stottlemyer

Sunday Drive by Charles Springer

pale green field

Sam tells his wife and kids that when next Sunday rolls around, they’ll take that drive he’s been promising across the scenic Midwest. No feat to be sneezed at since they live in New Jersey. Sam figures Iowa and Nebraska should only take half the morning. The remainder will go by in a flash so be ready with those cameras! Sunday finally rolls around and in between Bird-in-Hand and Paradise, they stop for gas and for Jilly, Sam’s wife, some pork rinds. Jilly points with a greasy finger at a cornfield in the distance not … Continue reading Sunday Drive by Charles Springer

Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

field of squash with mountains

We had the whole summer afternoon to peel squash in the cool of the barn, me and Mike and Old Ed, the tenant farmer before Mike who still dropped by from time to time in clean overalls to check on the progress of the crops. Mike asked Ed, as I rose to drink freezing water from a dusty black hose, about an old stooped woman he might remember, but Ed couldn’t remember; well, anyway, Mike said, she came back and without even asking set herself to picking fudge just like she used to. Fudge grew … Continue reading Peeling Squash by Mark Belair

Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Photo of old man walking with girl

Little Betrayals I was six I knew he had a quarter in his pocket I knew it was mine if when he roared who is the greatest grandpapa of all and the silver and Wedgewood china on table shook and the Irish maids ghosted by in starched uniforms and the chauffeur polished the silver Lincoln Continental and my grandmother tended to the terra cotta pots of pink and white orchids in the gazebo and my face flamed and I yelled Grandpapa looking down at my poodle skirt its rhinestone eye staring   Not Exactly Genesis … Continue reading Little Betrayals and Not Exactly Genesis, 2 poems by Claire Scott

Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

blue and purple light swirl at carnival

My brother and I played war in a ditch near the Ferris Wheel while the carnival barker shouted. Our games didn’t take precedence over my wanting to live like a civilized person, but my father couldn’t afford violin lessons for me. Most of my teachers sucked, and we had only cookbooks and a ragged dictionary at home. My father killed so many deer we had plenty to eat, but I still wore a thick jacket in the cold. I can’t say it called me to the world, but I loved snapping the bra strap of … Continue reading Carnival to Miss Greenstein by Charles Cantrell

Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson

Woodpecker in tree

Woodpeckers at it again this morning boring into the cedar clapboard, fascia, cove boards too soft with age, too inviting for the particular family-to-be of the pileated kind, red crest pure blazon and I rise time after time, running outside arms waving yelling Out! Out! and then worse the third or fourth time, my cup of coffee gone cold, page lost in book, and it knows I’ll give it up sooner or later or probably doesn’t care if I wouldn’t but I do, feet dew-soaked from all the running around in the flagrant April green … Continue reading Here’s to Us by Mark Simpson