Poems & Essays

22 Apr

Husbandry

General/Column No Response

Our son was only

a year old when you told him,

“divorce is the worst thing

that could happen to a family,”

then went outside, watered

fruit trees. A breeze

curled the curtain against

the window frame,

a spider crawled across

the kitchen floor, our son drained

all the apple juice from

his sippy-cup. I prayed Lord, Lord.

I prayed thunderbolt, lightning,

omen, sign. Outside,

sunlight played with folds

in your t-shirt as I watched you

through the window, my belly

hard, ripe, against

the countertop—our daughter

kicking inside.

 

Kimberly Ann currently teaches freshman composition at Central Michigan University where she is also pursing a graduate degree in Creative Writing. She lives with her children and a small dog in a small house, in a small village, in the central Michigan area. Her poems have appeared in Ruminate Magazine, Temenos, The Central Review and on Narrativality coffee bags.

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22 Apr

Isaac Among the Buttercups

General/Column No Response

“Do I like butter?”

Under his chin the golden promise

glows, bee-sweet, on smooth skin,

his face a fresh, uptilted moon.

I nod. He shrugs and frowns,

strokes the citrus yellow flower,

now limp, bedraggled, lets it fall.

A finger of breeze toys with his hair,

his black-lashed eyes are summer blue

as he searches the reflecting sky

for buzzards, distracted by Robinia’s

lime-green tongues, the flit of damsel flies.

I choose a rose for him, gypsum-white,

offer up its peach and molasses fragrance,

but he’s off running, on sunburnt legs,

through buttercups, knee-deep in sunlight.

 

Lesley Quayle is a poet, author and folk/blues singer and mother of four who currently lives in the wilds of rural Dorset.

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22 Apr

Crayons and a One Year Old

General/Column One Response

I think it every time I see you
with paper and crayon in hand

As you snap a section of forest green
in your mouth, I wonder if the flavor

matches the color. I question
if it would forever be a part of you

and turn the specks in your eyes
the color of abandoned copper train cars

under the sun. Somehow you always
know what to say without saying a word.

You point to the sky and trace stars
with the tips of your fingers.

 

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

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22 Apr

Sweet William

General/Column No Response

You were born hungry

and wiggly, wide-eyed

to the world,

a seven-pounder

swimming in air,

gulping.

 

At two weeks

you dropped the cord.

Less than an arm’s length,

you filled the house with your roar –

already king

of a stuffed jungle.

 

You had every expression

with no connection.

Your days were measured

in ounces and hours.

You put up your hands to ward off sleep.

Every bottle was half-full.

 

You still have your new-human smell

and the deepest blue eyes.

In awe, I watch as you become.

You inspire me –

the greatest thing I’ve ever done.

Sweet William,

my son, my sun.

 

Maureen McElroy has a B.S. in English Education from Boston University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She taught English and Latin for five years before entering a career in real estate. She is the Owner of Jamaica Hill Realty in Boston. 

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