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Showing posts from July, 2020

Loaded, a poem by Laurel Smith

Loaded        Back then he showed me how to assemble the farm tool I did not want to touch: a small gauge rifle. My hesitation surprised him: his mother and sister shot well, their loyalty to homegrown food justice enough for dealing death to fat groundhogs or teenage racoons.   I could see the logic of knowing what every farm kid knew, but I didn’t like any of it, not aiming at a can on a bloodless fence post, not pulling the trigger.   Laurel Smith lives in Vincennes, Indiana, and happily participates in projects to promote literacy and the arts. Her poems have appeared in Natural Bridge , New Millennium Writings , Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island , English Journal , JAMA: Journal of the AMA ; also in the following anthologies: Mapping the Muse , And Know This Place , Visiting Frost.

Full Circle, a poem by Keith Welch

Full Circle My mother has gone Home, some would say. No; her travels are ended. She wanted to die in her own small brick house and not in a garish hospital. A registered nurse, she knew better than to be played offstage by hissing machinery. Despite her wishes, her 85 year-long course was mapped from obstetrics to ER. A judgmental woman, our lives together were full of argument. A religious woman, she feared I would regret my atheism. A loving woman, she cared for, and buried, two husbands. These black letters, this white page cannot hold any of her laughter, her shouts, her angers, her sadness, her joy, and painful tears will not recover a single instant of her long life. Finally, we take our secrets with us when we go. Alone, my mother has either met her god, or suffered a simple mechanical failure. She alone knows, or knows nothing. Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana where he works at the Indiana Univ

Pilgrims, a poem by Joel Showalter

Pilgrims The old zinnias sway in  the garden bed, shoulders  hunched and heads bowed,  their bright garments tattered  and stained from wear, as  the sun shifts its sleepy gaze over the front yard. Still,  every flower is gamely doing  its job, gathering the light  and casting it up at our faces.  Who minds a missing petal like a broken tooth, or a brown smudge amid the gold?  Certainly not the bee, who  nuzzles every blossom, who blesses each splayed and faded  circlet, each discolored array, clasping the hands that are raised to her as she moves, saint-like, among them,  humming imperceptibly as she goes.  Joel Showalter , no longer a Hoosier by residence, has deep ties to Indiana. He was born in Marion and spent the first 24 years of his life in that part of the state. He received his bachelor’s degree in English and writing from Indiana Wesleyan University. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The C

July 5, a poem by Roger Pfingston

JULY 5 … and still they punctuate the night with their leftovers , the distant pops, the star- shattering booms, spiders and jellyfish hanging, dissolving over lakes, oceans, countryside, clusters of aerial chatter, the flight of animals, wild, domestic, yelps and whines, hugging the ground, digging, diving to escape the god- awful whatever it is, though see    how they glow,       the children’s eyes,          their upturned faces… and now the lull, the is-it-over-look-around… one bright, tiny fuse…someone’s Lady Finger…. Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. His most recent chapbook, What’s Given , is available from Kattywompus Press. New poems are appearing this year in I-70 Review , U.S. 1 Worksheets , Innisfree Poetry Journal , Dash , Passager and Front Range Review .

Home, a poem by David J. Bauman

Home Between the courthouse, where my brothers all appeared in turn, and the old jail, where they were lucky enough not to, there was Locust Alley and Willards, where we used sticks for swords. “ Un-guard! ” we cried, all the way home from a Zorro matinee at the Roxy or the Garden, the only two theaters in town, right across the street from each other. That block of Mary’ s Alley that ran behind our house and Aunt Cindy’ s, where the guy pulled a switchblade on me, and I let my tricycle topple over as I ran? It’s been turned to turf, along with all those neighboring lots, for the baseball field at Robb School. Our old double-block home has been replaced by first base. Second is where Ross, the bully, stole my Sears banana bike and removed the training wheels. He ’s buried now in Swissdale cemetery near my cousin Sam—two accidents, a motorcycle and a boy’s first car. Home plate is where Mrs. Seyler lived. How we made her pay