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Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Kimberly Russo

My Brain This Morning


with no socks—to

fill the bird-feeder—my feet look worn—

my kids have such smooth, beautiful hands

and feet—do they think my feet look old—did I

think my mom’s feet looked old when I was young—

did she even wear open-toed shoes—flip-flops—we called them

“thongs”—what did she wear to work—red lipstick, short skirt,

square-heeled pumps—no pointy heels behind the bar—(entangles

in the mats) bartender—so many years—that’s what invited the

bladder cancer—second-hand smoke—she’s grabbing her

crotch, moaning, Oh my God—Oh my God—every

time she urinates in her Depends—lying

on the bed—otherwise incoherent—


Superman was Never Intended
to be Viewed in Black & White

In black and white


the 1978 version.

An image of Christopher Reeve,

fists piercing confines,

fleeing Earth’s atmosphere,

forever framed by the 8x8


9th birthday, looming

Silent guest, anxiety

dread of uncertainty

Childish hope and a mother’s promise

a sizeable slumber party.

Sleeping bags, pillows, and innocence

stuffing into a tiny,

two-bedroom rental.

A problem of “Absent Parents”

Categorical vulnerability,

canvasing to convince guests.

Creating excuses,

assuaging concerns.

And the TV, our first, (used)

Color TV—the conveyor of a cinematic


A white blouse

flecked with blood

Faltering feet

No, no. She was fine

Just a fender-bender

fractured nose—a few cracked ribs.

Unseemly gesticulations and

slurred pleas to stay on.

The house emptied,

I watched her sleeping.

Familiar pangs of

disappointment and resolve,

quieted with overwhelming love.

Light from the screen

casting shadows, a muted hero

in black and white.

Missed Signs

The bus pulls away as it does every day, a

snapshot of yellow in a framework of gray. After

lessons and learning relayed and conveyed,

connections with peers convincingly made, My

role as a student so perfectly played, I stand at the

corner, alone and afraid.

I fear not my surroundings, nor the path that I tread . . .

The route is familiar along with the dread, the resolute

realization of what lies ahead. Lord knows her

“condition” can leave her half—dead. My need for

security withers, unfed.

I’m turning the corner; my house is in view,

anxiety turns a darker hue.

Oh my God, if you only knew

the hell and the heartache I’ve been through.

All the signs . . . you’ve misconstrued

while you, Mother, have come unglued.

Selective Memories are
the only Gift of Dementia

I will send you a little note today.

Stationery bought with you in mind,

knowing you would admire

delicate purple flowers

bordering scalloped edges.

I see you—savoring

every word

beneath your smudged magnifying glass.

We talk on the phone

every day, reminiscing.

We laugh.

You say you feel better

just hearing my voice

you and Daddy will visit soon.

I used to call those words “pie-crust promises.”

It’s hard to fathom

the missed opportunities,

the years you spent nursing a hangover

instead of my children.

With all of the states and circumstances

separating you from me,

my bitterness softens

with your ebbing memories.

Some of your days

are better than others.

Some days, you say

my dad is dead and ask me

if I’ve seen him lately.

You shout, “My time is almost up!”

Now the world has its own circumstances,

a virus to freeze us in place but not in time.

I write my memory on creamy-white paper

(with purple flowers.)

take flight down the pier of the beach,

you carrying our shoes in one hand,

my toddler-hand tethered to your other.

Weaving through board-walkers, we chant, “Aua, Aua, Aua!” in

your German tongue. Grey-winged seagulls chuckle and mew

encouragement of our hot-footed flight.

A California pier stretches endlessly, and my blonde hair is

a comet’s tail reaching back to the sea.

Kimberly Russo is an English teacher in Aurora, Colorado, where she resides with her husband, Tony. She is the mother of four children, Nicholas, [Stephanie,] Audrey, Grace, and Maritza, and a proud grandmother to Doc and Willa. Kimberly spends her free time gardening and bird-watching. Much of her writing is dedicated to marriage/family, social issues, including the perpetuating inequality among genders/races, and the stigma associated with mental illness.

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