pushing your world into safe shapes
keeping Truth buried in a pine chest
letting you dream of frontiers beyond this house
of trails that are safe
unlike the stuffed toy in your keeping
ripped every day from your loving.
You do not catch it as it falls.
You are the one who drops it.
Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist and mother of three grown children, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC. As a woman of color, she writes about social relations and the moral dimensions of power. Erbacce, CHEST, Ofi Literary Magazine, Transnational, and 34th Parallel are among the venues her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in, and she is the author of the weblog, Ferguson and Other Poems About Race: A Chapbook (2015). In the 1970s, Clara studied with Adrienne Rich and now studies with the poets Meghan Sterling and Eric Steineger.
She looks into the mirror
as she dresses for her first day
of college, unsure of the beauty
emerging in the curves
of her face, and so full of hope.
I want to take her face
in a hold that is gentle yet firm,
and tell her to keep faith, that
there is a life like she imagines,
with someone who will see her,
who will feel her,
who will know her.
I want to hold her with a fierceness
that would scare her, and tell her
to mother the babies, not the men,
and to warn her that not all
who have vision will use it
with the best intentions.
I want to make a salve
that lets her know her worth
and rub it into every pore,
into her very soul.
She draws a breath, sets
her shoulders, and for the first time
I see the grace in her arms
as in wings poised for flight.
Sharyl Collin started writing poetry about four years ago. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including Mason’s Road Literary Journal, Wild Goose Poetry Review, *82 Review, The Intentional and Lummox.
We didn’t want to go home
after a month of living with our tía who fed us Hohos and Pepsi,
who let us stay up past midnight,
let us sleep in till noon,
let us walk to the pool alone,
or spend all day playing Mario Bros.
Call us traitors.
Could you blame us?
With our home so freshly haunted
by your fallopian tubes,
your ovaries, your uterus,
sliced from your youngish body
by the cold edge of a doctor’s knife,
my sister and I, at thirteen and ten,
nothing but reminders of a trick
your body by force
gave up to the Ghost.
Did we know we were cruel
when you came for us, and we wailed,
hid under our cousin’s bed?
Does any child ever comprehend
they hold their mother’s Everythingness
inside their small fists?
How they might summon
with their adolescent nerve, Medea,
from spent, half-eaten women?
In that suicide trip
back to our house on Viall Street,
you unlatched your seatbelt,
tears erasing the yellow dashed highway,
your foot like lead on the gas till the dead
hills and slight patches of green bled
color into earthen color outside our windows,
the desert flashing its mad smile.
To this day we can’t remember
what my sister said, only how
the tone of her voice, flat but superior,
urged your foot from the petal,
compelled your hand to wipe the wet
from your eyes and let us live another day
inside the stew of your multiplying regrets.
Kristy Webster is a writer, artist and mother of two. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Evergreen State College where she majored in creative writing, visual arts, and feminist studies. Her work has appeared in several online journals such as Lunch Ticket, Pithead Chapel, The Feminist Wire, Shark Reef Literary Magazine, Pacifica Literary Review, The Molotov Cocktail, Connotation Press, A Word With You Press, A Fly in Amber and in two print anthologies by GirlChildPress. She lives in Port Townsend, Washington.
The golden days are numbered I fear the end of this.
The sun shines its way
through the seeds of flood,
and you my rainbow maker
sitting in ferns by the stream
cool mud on your knees
speckling light striking our shade. You are all a mutter, all in song:
Blackberries, dragonfly vexing, In the “new place” before Eden came, Tiger lilies and sentinel pines Stood watch for us there in the wood.
The lost gilding days may haunt us,
may teach us to sorrow before we should, but you should know that we were together there in the seed days of your life. That if we no longer speak of it When we are old like bark and stone, we were there together once where there was no enemy, only Joy songs, solid, strong, certain,
Sung together with my son.
Let us not fear the end,
But beg on golden days anew.
Rebecca King sometimes wishes there were more quiet moments in the day. A professional painter, homeschooling mom to her three children, owner builder project manager, and quiet corner poet, King finds little spaces to eek out feeling in blank pages. The daughter of C.S. Lewis scholar, Don W. King, her fondest childhood memories are of being read to by her father. To relive that experience, King has been reading aloud daily to her children since they were born just to be sure they remember it too. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband Paul, children Ezra, Eden and Orin and is growing larger every day with expectation waiting for identical twin baby girls due in October.