Tag Archives: Spring 2023

Message by Mary Christine Kane

moonlight on night sea with large rock

Last night I called you. Moon sharp, I said, like an important message. Look up. The sky has opened its story and shined its shy star. It’s a pearl plucked from the deep. Look up before she hides before we forget the oyster, that we are surrounded by sea. Mary Christine Kane works in healthcare marketing and lives in Minneapolis, Minn. She holds an MFA from Hamline University. Mary’s poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Bluestem; Mutabilis Press; Plainsongs Magazine; The Buffalo Anthology, Right Here, Right Now; and others. Her … Continue reading Message by Mary Christine Kane

and yet the moon by Nimisha Mondal


your father is dying on the other side of the world and yet, the moon shines into our bedroom my mother has broken her ankle and can’t walk the stairs and yet, the moon dances between clouds our daughter, plagued by night terrors, sweats in the sheets between us and yet, the moon fills our room with brightness our neighbor’s mosque was vandalized, dirty messages on the walls and yet, the moon glows over both vandals and vandalized tonight storms rage over violent seas, and fires burn across our hearts and yet, the moon holds … Continue reading and yet the moon by Nimisha Mondal

Allison Moves In by Margie Shepherd

Photo of stacked shipping containers

  Allison did not come to the decision to move in with Gregory lightly. She loved her little apartment, absolutely loved it. It was a source of immense pride and comfort. But she suspected that Gregory might be “the one,” and moving in together was the natural next step. They talked about The Big M only once, admittedly in a cursory fashion, but Gregory did not shy away from talking about the future. Gregory had been pushing the move for weeks. He hated trying to find parking near her building, hated that he had to … Continue reading Allison Moves In by Margie Shepherd

In a Chapel Near the Loire by Elisabeth Murawski

rustic stone chapel on a river

The pulpit floats high above the chairs. She cranes her neck to see, twists a little clockwise to hear. The priest’s suspended there for his flock. Which soil to avoid? Which rock? The Bible’s chained to the lectern, each page a work of art. Needles of heat. Through the window a cloudless sky the blue of Mary’s cloak, a furnace of crows relentless as her fears of hell, of dying alone, that her prayers court a God who needs no one. Elisabeth Murawski is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson … Continue reading In a Chapel Near the Loire by Elisabeth Murawski

Return to Civilization by Elizabeth L. Delaney

Photo of green mask over and over

Two 584-million-mile trips around the sun—the only traveling any of us could do. Two sets of birthdays and anniversaries and seasonal accoutrement. Innumerable sleepless nights. All spent in pandemic hibernation. In terror. On the brink of insanity. It’s fitting that they’d bring me back. Just like they always have. When the clarion call came, it rattled like a cruel tease. After one cancelled tour and another doomed returning-to-normal show amid countless are-we-there-yet moments, the prospect of real-life anything seemed out of reach. I wasn’t ready anyway, still subsumed by a pandemic-induced Stockholm syndrome. But as … Continue reading Return to Civilization by Elizabeth L. Delaney

Not Every Deed by Tom Gengler

Oak branches in sun and shade

Not every deed in the annals of my family was given an account. It could not be. But the gospel writers and eyewitnesses each translated experience and recollection to collections of their own. I protected as if genocides were being sprayed from trucks in the living room and cessations possessed my hands. I have planted them in earths they were not potted in. The tender greenhouse became their new home: soils in life they were never rooted in, earthenware pots that drain and breathe and reverse their suffocations. May I plant you (uncle, aunt, mother, … Continue reading Not Every Deed by Tom Gengler

Forehand Drive by Amy Foster Myer

Photo of hand being held out

“How much further down you think it is?” He turned to look at me in the backseat as he drove. Through the front windshield, dark streets I didn’t recognize spread out in confusing perpendiculars. I had booked a place in the North end—somebody’s basement done up all IKEA-chic—because it was close to my mother’s facility. I’d barely been up this way before and never in the dark, on the lonely industrial roads from the airport. He said sorry again, repeated it. We had turned off at an orange Detour sign, below it, another reading, “Road … Continue reading Forehand Drive by Amy Foster Myer

The Owl by Deborrah Corr


From the branch above, half concealed in new oak leaves, silent, the barred owl watches with giant eyes, round as the pool at my feet. Its body, is all of a piece, no indentation even for a neck. If I could reach high enough, my fingers might stroke it in one long move from head to base, flat-handed, barely a touch, feeling the slightest tickle of feather, like the way, as a child, I’d kneel by the mud puddle, hover my hand over the brown water, lower my arm bit by slow bit, trying to … Continue reading The Owl by Deborrah Corr

In the After by Sarah E. Laughter

Photo of empty camping chairs at lake at dusk

My favorite photograph shows my children trudging through a cold, whispering creek hand in hand.  The afternoon light filters through the canopy, refracting across the lens in an angelic glow. The girls are still little.  Our youngest wears a heavy diaper that skims the surface of the shallow water.  The energy is electric. Magical. The waterway bubbles and winds along the border of our property, cutting a five-foot canyon into the red-clay earth. Along the bottom, the creek ripples over slick stones and fallen trees, which hide red salamanders and tiny fish. A small stretch … Continue reading In the After by Sarah E. Laughter

Parma, Idaho by Craig Brandis


                                Mounds of sugar beets under                          halogen, marooned in pressure                         waves like fossil dinosaur turds.                                     Lurid thunder eggs. And                                  always the two Lebanese                            brothers who walk and argue. .                      A six-year-old boy drowned in an                 irrigation ditch. His father a tethered                                     dirigible in white Adidas.                       Church is headstones in hill rows                          wearing in an unrelenting … Continue reading Parma, Idaho by Craig Brandis