Tag Archives: Poetry

Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

Woman and man in black against white city background
 

His mother’s words: Be a good boy! Whatever that meant in 1920. What did Harry T. Burn know? He was a man now: 24 Republican Tennessee Representative. He’d seen her in the kitchen, kerchief holding back her hair, the kettle’s steam whooshing to her face as she fished out mason jars loaded with peaches glossily preserved for winter desserts. At meals she served herself last. Listened, didn’t ask or say much. He saw her give food to men who came to the back door at strange times of the day. She wore a faded apron … Continue reading Passing the 19th by Laura Altshul

From a Stranger by Linda Lerner

narrow hall with blue carpet
 

For Marvin Gordon Thank you, he said when I moved well to the side to ensure a safe enough social distance for him to pass, what my ballet teacher did in those early AIDS years by shaking his head motioning with his hands to push me away when I reached out to hug this teacher I adored, just home from the hospital, who’d assured me, all of us he didn’t have AIDS, and being naive and young… but I wasn’t all that young not to get a patronizing if you say so look from those … Continue reading From a Stranger by Linda Lerner

Einstein’s Last Words and Angina, 2 poems by J.R. Solonche

Light flaring against deep blue space
 

EINSTEIN’S LAST WORDS (Einstein died on April 18, 1955, attended by a nurse who could not understand his last words, which he spoke in German.) Surely it must have been a simple thing, that sort of phrase the ordinary old would say, child-like, such as “More light” or “Bring me, please, water” or “Close the door” or “Hold my hand” or “I was wrong” or “What’s the time?” Perhaps it was a line or two of verse from Faust, or a nonsense nursery rhyme that curved around to close his universe. And if all it … Continue reading Einstein’s Last Words and Angina, 2 poems by J.R. Solonche

Indian Bread by Amy-Sarah Marshall

Pine bark in sun and shadow
 

We used to wedge our tiny dirty un- girly fingernails into the flesh of the dowdy pine trees plotted in the concrete squares that defined our territory. Indian Bread, someone called it, someone stupid. But we were stupid, too. We hungered so hard to put something real in our mouths. Every night my mother plopped a can of fruit cocktail and a pile of green peas on the chipped plates. I couldn’t put my elbows on the table while we chewed. How incredible it felt to peel the grey bark back and cull the new … Continue reading Indian Bread by Amy-Sarah Marshall

Farm Girl Flying by Trish Annese

Bright red female angel
 

Loosed from the arms of her mother by the shame of wings, borne on blue, feathered splendor, she watches earth fall fast, past sycamore, linden and pine. A farmer saw her, waved and shook his head, said to his son: you have to be careful—girls like that, they’ll rise when you least expect them, take your self-respect along with an embroidered tablecloth or two. How can she explain it? Flight without tether? If this girl knew Brueghel she might well fear flight: The farmer threshing his wheat and his son, just a boy, pretending not … Continue reading Farm Girl Flying by Trish Annese

Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of blurred hanging lights
 

Incandescence Few will understand. Light bulbs, for heaven’s sake. But I was awash the night I found spares waiting to meet my need and remembered when need was swallowed by the dark. My little stash of lumens in flimsy boxes leaned in tilted testament to the day shadow vanished from my life and I fairly danced to the lamp to replace the dead gray globe and twirl in luminescent grace. Even now, I rejoice anew not when a light dims, but when I reach out knowing another waits to shine. I am an onion but … Continue reading Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

white bandaid against pale blue background
 

Brush a thin film over the slit on your papered skin— ………..feel the throbbing start to numb. Shields against……………………………..daily scrapes ……………………………………………………blisters and callouses ……………………………………………………prickles ……………………………………………………exposed nerves I scan directions for protection from…………………………….splintered remarks lodged so deep they remain hidden until the skin regenerates……………….pushing the sharpness slowly ……………………………………………………toward the surface Search for……………………………………toxic comments from others …………………………………………………..places not yet recovered …………………………………………………..pummeled layers from sharp tongues turned red to purple to blue to yellow from deep tissues that ooze their spew. Scars that never faded, alleyways from the past. My palms sweat as I touch the thick callouses … Continue reading Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

thin stemmed yellow daisies
 

  My mother has forgotten about the sun Her gaze gauzy, living room window a bay shape she has always detested Here comes the mailman My father is in the Rehab Center Our king and conqueror of transient ischemic attacks Your father’s strokes are just mini strokes Stacked in a corner of oil stained garage Forest green plastic lawn chairs unparted for cobwebby eons Virginia, what are you doing out there? On the small concrete front porch of that one bath, three bedroom rancher I place two empty chairs in the sunshine as white spiders … Continue reading Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

curved pale green fern in sunllight
 

My friend looks like he stands tall and straight. But for fifty years, he’s lived in his brain. He can’t bear you to know he can’t bear his body. Hidden inside, a fiddlehead, curled to protect a tender secret it’s not in vogue to keep. After the death of one parent’s wits and another parent’s heart, he tries on the latest fashion. But bravery carries a price his sister makes him pay. And with half a century of silence, his fetal back is broken. Unfurling is nothing but pain. Sara Dovre Wudali is a writer … Continue reading Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann

cloudy moonrise over deep blue swamp
 

Bullfrogs Always in discord, they are summer’s yellow-throated singers, so deep in distress, I cannot tell if the voice is mine or theirs cannot even tell if it is fright or sorrow, the pained thrum which gives to a humid night echoes in the eardrum, a reverb as haunting as an owl or one’s racing heart, which lingers when they sleep during the panting heat of day while the moon seeps silent under the bright horizon what remains is close to sweat and skin, a dizzy reminder of hidden pasts, sounds of the South and … Continue reading Bullfrogs and San Juan Island, 2 poems by Brooke Dwojak Lehmann