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Poetry Summer 2020    fiction    all issues

Poetry Summer 2020 cover


Cover Vecteezy

Rodrigo Dela Peña
If a Wound is an Entrance for Light
& other poems

Shellie Harwood
Early Evening, Late September
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
The Deacon’s Lament
& other poems

J. H. Hall
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Two Aphids
& other poems

Sugar le Fae
& other poems

Lauren Sartor
Shopping Cart Woman
& other poems

Nathaniel Cairney
Mushroom Hunting, Jackson County, Kansas
& other poems

Elisa Carlsen
& other poems

Daniel Gorman
The Boy Achilles
& other poems

Samara Hill
I Look for Her Mostly Everywhere
& other poems

Nicole Justine Reid
Returning to Sensual
& other poems

David Ginsberg
Butterfly Wings
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
Café Sant Ambroeus
& other poems

George R. Kramer
Young Odysseus
& other poems

Amy Swain
In Praise of Trees
& other poems

Frederick Shiels
Bad October: 2016
& other poems

Matthew A. Hamilton
Summer of '89
& other poems

Chris Kleinfelter
Getting from There to Here
& other poems

Martin Conte
Ghazal for the Shipwrecked
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
I Do Not Owe You My Beauty
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Dark Water
& other poems

Chris Kleinfelter

Covered Bridges

I am my father’s son, walking in time

with my father’s face printed on my skin,

looking through the eyes of stories

told on kitchen table evenings.

As a boy he strode barefoot on dusty days

of humid summers, in green farm country,

down to where the broad brown creek

passed by endlessly in tuneless murmuring

where the bridge groaned to the weight

of car and carriage, echoing traveler’s voices

in the timbered roof-space among rafter oak

and swallow’s nests, in cool rising air.

Worn wooden planks spanked the bottoms

of shoeless feet under the roof-shade,

above gliding water on it’s long journey from

mountain meadows and Pennsylvania coal towns.

In high noon heat, cold currents came down

between grassy banks, over moss-slick rocks,

where wary brown trout lurked in

deep eddies while above stealthy fishing-boys

waited, patient as hunting lions.

I am my father’s son standing in time

with my father’s face gone from sight

on the harsh summer days where the bridge

once stood on the humid shore waiting

for the sons of country boys to come

stalk the deep running fish.

The strong oak of past seasons gone,

the floods have left only foundations,

standing still, in place, showing

the character of so much weather.


When I feel how the river of time

carries me along in its strong current

the sandy bottom glides by

and I see the present,

firm and unbroken.

But I think of the layers from eons uncounted

and wonder at how they have shaped the course

of my path through a universe that counts

me as a mere particle shifting with a current

that I can not direct. I can only reflect

that I am still afloat and have always been

a swimmer between the shores

of an uncertain future

content to drift the quiet stretches,

between the rapids,

to find my fortune

one ripple at a time.

First Love Goes Viral

I wonder, if I were young

in this year of plague,

you know like before

I was in my prime

and the life of juggling

was still to come.

Would I be likely

to fall in love at first sight

from six feet away

Like I did that day

long ago by the river

when a blind girl asked my name

and my eyes became hers

all in a moment?

Could I see the fine person

beneath the N95 mask?

If I had the nerve to ask

would I show up

with roses in rubber-gloved hands

and say that I liked hers

with delicate fingers

showing beautifully

beneath tight-stretched latex?

How would we find the magic moment

when PPE must fall

and our souls bare all

with courage and passion

in spite of the pall

making it hard to see

the ones we long to touch?

Summer Night Discovery

Once we lived on the stoops

on hot summer nights.

Mom kept the lights on bright

to see what we were up to.

Heat lightning traced the skyline

and mirrored the electric desires

of our fevered age.

Our fire was not rage.

It was ignited on the pages

of revealed knowledge

showing us our brightest colors

and urging us to slip into the night

where all we could see was each other.

Getting from There to Here

I am, at times, a stiff-necked fool,

a tool of my inner urges.

There were times when I served

the worst of them

and spread my apologies

behind me like a trail of regrets

through a landscape of lost wishes.

Raised on dreams and muttered prayers

I had no one to be

except a feather in the wind

looking for a better wing

and learning that flight is just

deciding not to land.

And that my one true love

is the ever receding horizon.

Chris Kleinfelter has been writing poetry since going back to college at age 40. That was 20 years ago. He won awards for poems submitted to the campus literary journal, Thoughts Beyond Insanity. Following that his work was published in the literary journal, Harrisburg Review, and The Villager, published by The Bronxville Women’s Club. Most recently he won third place in Tidepools, the literary journal of Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, Washington.

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