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Showing posts from April, 2019

With My Grandson on Thanksgiving, a poem by Jeffrey Owen Pearson

With My Grandson on Thanksgiving by Jeffrey Owen Pearson He says he is grateful for his father. His father is dead and he is grateful for him. He doesn’t talk about him except from those moments that seem to come from dreams. I remember him, too, every day. Some days I cry. My father used to measure everything, but I have no measure to reach him. The boy has no measure other than gratitude. Some places are pure. Pools so clear we will never understand. Our first meal. The last. Grateful for the bounty our hands planted in the earth and the earth gave back. A plate at the dark end of the table for the absent father. Father. The boy is grateful. Father. I am. From Jeffrey Owen Pearson: “ 'With My Grandson on Thanksgiving' began in a circle of friends and family. I was devastated by my grandson's gratitude for his father, it was such a pure and ethereal sentiment. His dad's birthday is the last day of November.”

Congregant: Creative Nonfiction by Shawndra Miller

Congregant By Shawndra Miller Up from the Grave He Arose, cued the worship leader, and the congregation breathed in as one, readied its four-part harmony for the Easter standard’s lugubrious opening line. Low in the grave He lay… My father stood on my left, deepening his baritone to hit the low-slung notes. My mother’s alto trilled into my right ear. Nine years old, I sang soprano, following the top notes in the hymnal, trying not to crack on the final long ohhhh and iiiii vowels of He arose, he arose! Alleluia… Christ arose. I wore a bright yellow flowered dress. Sunbonnet ribbon against my white-lobed throat. The Mennonite Hymnal ’s clothbound bulk steady in my hand, solid as another family member. Vainly they seal the dead… We filed out of church on that Easter Sunday—after the pancake breakfast, after Sunday school where my handsewn dress and Laura Ingalls bonnet turned ugly next to my friends’ sleek store-bought frocks—and into a cutting breeze and l

City Coyotes, a poem by Norbert Krapf

City Coyotes by Norbert Krapf They say coyotes slink all the way downtown in this Midwestern city and sleep curled up in doorways of shops. I wouldn’t mind seeing one as we have no dogs or cats, inside or out, but so far it’s been only rabbits and peregrine falcons, one of which our cigarette-inhaling son saw take out a plump pigeon, feathers settling on pink roses. Maybe at night when no moon shines they trot past our door, not satisfied with tiny chipmunks, and take their sly unending hunt elsewhere up and down dim streets sniffing for larger, more appetizing live meat padding in the dark. Norbert Krapf, former Indiana poet laureate, has recently published his 12th poetry collection, The Return of Sunshine , about his Colombian-German-American grandson. He is completing a collection of poems for children and a prose memoir about his writing life, Homecomings .

Social Anxiety Disorder, a poem by Matthew Early

Social Anxiety Disorder by Matthew Early I never acknowledge it: The tarantula that nests in people’s mouths. Hopping from host to host, its hair matted from heavy exhales, pincers and legs jutting out to chins, with weight crushing tongues long given up on. I am always too much a stranger, and victims— coworkers, classmates or cousins too far removed— aren’t ever eager to share. I just cannot but I do know how every sundown the spider clacks the ivory of canines, announcing ritual with a song they think only they can hear. It feeds venom to throats during descents to sleep in stomachs, overdosing innards and cocooning them for later. I never call to check up. Some mornings I see them pale and sickly from trying all night to drown it with Jack. Their breathing is always strained from the webbing covering their windpipes. The spider marionettes mouths to smile with silk, but people will always run from fangs and too many

Cave Painting, a poem by Terry Ofner

Cave Painting by Terry Ofner The man-shape on the wall is red. The man is earthen red, like the dust all around. The man points an arrow upwind where the bison range. They graze the stony hill one wall over. The bison are brown— earthen brown, like the dust all around. The brown pigment is hungry for the wall. The red pigment is hungry for the kill. Desire everywhere. Bio: Terry Ofner has published poetry in World Order, 100 Words, Right Hand Pointing, Ghazal Page, Flying Island, San Pedro River Review, and forthcoming in I70 Review. He is an editor for an educational publishing company headquartered in Iowa, where he grew up—not far from the Mississippi River.