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Poetry Summer 2023    fiction    all issues


Joel Filipe

Kristina Cecka
& other poems

Gillian Freebody
The Uncivil War of Love
& other poems

LuAnn Keener-Mikenas
Skunks at Twilight
& other poems

Alyssa Sego
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Forest of One
& other poems

Brent M. Foster
Ode to Darwin
& other poems

Jack Giaour
trans man is feeling blue
& other poems

Alan Gann
how strange
& other poems

Richard Baldo
The Privilege
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Holly York
As it turned out, there was no bomb on board
& other poems

Celeste Briefs
Late Poppies
& other poems

Kayla E.L. Ybarra
Goose Song
& other poems

S.E. Ingraham
Leaving to Arrive
& other poems

Rachel Robb
Molting Scarlet Tanager
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
Sauna by a Finnish lake at Midsummer
& other poems

Ellen Romano
Seven Sisters
& other poems

Greg Hart
False Coordinates
& other poems

Greg Tuleja
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
Southern Charm
& other poems

Ellen Romano

Seven Sisters

Linda sings in her kitchen

about the murdered and missing,

songs written for her indigenous mother

and those who have disappeared.

I warm my hands over the flame of a candle,

listen to the song of a woman who looks out

a window and sees an image

of her murdered sister in her own reflection.

In the winter sky the seven Pleiades

are pursued by a hunter and flee

across the night sky, a story

so ancient and widespread

it could have first been told in Africa

when we huddled around the same fires

before dispersing among the continents.

I walk home under a crescent moon,

to the rhythm of a mournful song,

too far from the light of a friend’s kitchen,

thinking of sisters and loss,

of the ways families fall apart and never

regain their old configurations.

Pictures of Mary, 1983

Gina had a crush on Agnetha from ABBA,

took pictures of her on the television

while her friend stood next to it, posing.

            What, Mom? I just want some pictures of Mary.

Her mother didn’t know she liked girls.

When the pictures came back nothing

could be seen on the TV screen.

Gina’s mother yelled at the waste of film,

ten pictures of the same thing,

Mary next to the television

gazing into the camera.

The Rocking Chair

My husband bought a rocking chair

before he died, Grandpa’s chair

he called it, long before

any sign of a grandchild. Now

I take a picture of my son rocking

the child his grandfather never met.

One generation brightens

as another fades, the gift

of continuity, the reason to be human

is to suffer, though a handful of days

are nothing but joy.

If the world survives, one day a child

will see this picture and say,

there is my grandfather rocking my father,

others will see great-grandfathers,

and second great-grandfathers, on and on,

down the long chain of grateful, suffering humans.

My son gazes at his child, his feet move

up and down, working the chair,

the pivot connecting all that has passed

with everything still to come.


He returned in the spring,

his song a car alarm. Eight years

was his expected life span.

My husband did the research

and wished it shorter,

then the mockingbird outlived him.

His was the loss I was not prepared for.

     I feel like I’m going to die.

          On purpose? asked my sons,

whose love anchored me to the world.

Only a mockingbird desperate

for a mate sings through the night.

Alone in my bedroom

I was conscious of the bird’s effort,

the convulsions of the diaphragm

and breast muscles as he sang

his discordant notes hour after hour,

seeking a mate with a warning of danger.

Ellen Romano, an educator, mother, grandmother and widow, lives in Hayward, California with her cat, Billy. Her themes are memory, family and grief. Some of the publications where her work has appeared are December Magazine, Lascaux Review, and Crosswinds Poetry Journal.

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