Poems & Essays

17 Jul

A Poem to Save Us

General/Column 8 Responses

When you were small
I wondered what they all do:
“What if she never grew another inch?”
Would she be a petite Emily Dickinson
with a large vision constrained
by her small world or
from below reach further,
striving for more.
I’ve dreamed a World War Z reality
where she’d be overlooked
living long, making the call.
She’d set the world right
blaring her freedom trumpet
like the fireworks exploding on the page
a poem to save us
from ourselves.

 

 

Serena M. Agusto-Cox, who was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has poems published in Dime Show Review, Beginnings Magazine, LYNX, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Harrow, Pedestal Magazine, and other journals. An essay also appears in H.L. Hix’s Made Priceless, as does a Q&A on book marketing through blogs in Midge Raymond’s Everyday Book Marketing. She also runs the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and founded Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books. Reach her on Twitter @SavvyVerseWit

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17 Jul

Billy and Steve

General/Column One Response

We are standing next to a long, straight-flowing river
where brown bears like to come and catch fish.
And Billy is there, small as ever, enjoying
the tickly feel of the raindrops bouncing off of him.
“Oh good!” my son says, with sudden realization.
“Steve will be there this afternoon.” Steve is older
and bigger than Billy, much bigger. And there is some relationship
between Billy and Steve, but it’s not entirely clear what that is,
because they do not live on the same street. But Kingston
being the way it is, they likely have family ties of some sort.

And when I go pick up my son at the after-school program
after this rainy day, I will have to be careful not to park the car too close
to Steve, or my feet will get wet, because Steve is an awfully large
puddle in the driveway of the YMCA, and the kids greet him
sometimes when they get off the bus. He is always there in the rain.
And Billy is a small pothole around the corner from our house,
and when it rains, water fills him up to the brim. The bears who fish
in the river of rain running along the curb are large and fluffy
and sleep in my son’s bed. And that’s what it’s like on a rainy day
with a small boy at your side.

 

Meg Freer grew up in Missoula, Montana and now lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario where she teaches piano and enjoys running and photography. She began writing poetry in Fall 2015 and has since won a few awards from the Ontario Poetry Society. Some of her poems have been selected for publication in chapbooks as well as in print and online anthologies.

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17 Jul

the unborn

General/Column One Response

(after Sharon Olds)

Sometimes I can almost see them
the children we did not have,
the possibilities I keep collecting
in catacombs of the wastebasket.
The ones we thought better of,
the glint of their eyes catching mine
in the bathroom mirror.

Sometimes I can almost hear
echoes of their laughter
when our son singsongs to himself,
calls Mommy look, look
points to shadows I cannot see.
answers questions I do not ask.

Sometimes like, this afternoon,
I can almost feel them, their heavy absence.
Checking the backseat again
in phantom panic
afraid to leave behind
what I have not held.

 

Shannon Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications). Her writing has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Mothers Always Write, The Muddy River Review, The Mom Egg Review, and The Elephant Journal. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. You can find her at www.ablogofherown.wordpress.com.

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17 Jul

Rain

General/Column No Response

My baby smells me coming.
His caregivers say he knows I’m on my way
tells them his mama will be here soon.
They say, no no, that’s the scent of fresh cut
grass, the rain-heavy clouds,
honeysuckle.

No, he says.
My mama is coming.
I can smell her.

A child can pick out his mother by scent
the way a baby first roots for the nipple.
I know this to be true.
My mother, a wisp of lilac
sun warmed cotton,
Ralph Lauren perfume.

To my son
I am the air before the rain,
the electric rattle of anticipation,
miraculous & mundane.

 

Shannon Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications). Her writing has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Mothers Always Write, The Muddy River Review, The Mom Egg Review, and The Elephant Journal. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. You can find her at www.ablogofherown.wordpress.com.

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