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Poetry Winter 2023    fiction    all issues


Susan Wilkinson

Selena Spier
Red From The West
& other poems

Pamela Wax
Talk Therapy
& other poems

Ana Reisens
Honey Water
& other poems

Mark Yakich
Necessary Hope
& other poems

Bridget Kriner
A Few Lies & a Truth
& other poems

Keegan Shepherd
Silver Queen
& other poems

Alaina Goodrich
Sacred Conflagration
& other poems

George Longenecker
Those Who Hunger
& other poems

Hailey Young
Ball Room
& other poems

Sébastien Luc Butler
& other poems

Savannah Grant
Ever Since (v.2)
& other poems

grace (logan)
& other poems

Samantha Imperi
A Poem for the Ghosted
& other poems

Corinne Walsh
& other poems

Kayla Heinze
Stop checking the score
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Chasing Through to Dawn
& other poems

Alex Eve
A moment
& other poems

Robert Michael Oliver
Prison Hounds
& other poems

Writer's Site

George Longenecker

Two Tents

sag under snow,

at a picnic area a mile out of town,

home for people who have nowhere else to go.

They’ve camped since summer

in this patch of woods

next to the Winooski River,

which rushes by but says nothing.

Morning traffic passes,

school busses, commuters,

skiers on their way

to slopes or second homes.

300 feet from their tents,

a brown house with river view,

ten rooms, three car garage,

fireplaces, bright Christmas lights.

Winter night comes early

for those who live in tents,

snow blows, rattles pines,

cold river rolls over stones,

bones turn to ice.

Birds Without Borders

A dozen gulls feed on fast food scraps,

rest on a tractor trailer

at a New York Thruway service area;

soon more gulls join them,

beaks pointed west,

maybe they know this truck

is headed toward Lake Erie,

though they’d rather fly,

than cling to the top of a trailer,

as it roars down the thruway,

unlike refugees from Honduras,

who must cling to boxcars across Mexico.

The truck roars away beneath their wings,

and twelve gulls ride wind currents,

northwest out over Lake Erie.

Canada geese, redwing blackbirds, a few flickers,

fly south with cargo ships and fishing trawlers far below.

Flocks cross back and forth,

borders, customs booths,

walls, fences, guards with guns

all irrelevant.

Memory passed bird to bird,

their celestial compass

of flyways older than nations,

as old as these lakes—

wings over water.

Pizza in a Snowstorm

Snow falls on their outstretched arms

outside a convenience store,

finally someone gives enough

for two slices and a large coffee,

which they share on a park bench,

one warms their hand in the other’s pocket,

snowflakes alight on pepperoni and onion,

crystalline stars which quickly melt away;

they pass coffee back and forth,

eat pizza with tattered gloves,

two crows circle and caw,

hoping for a scrap of crust—

scraps of two lives

reduced to one shopping cart,

a ragged tent,

and what’s left of their pizza—

they toss crusts to crows.

Full Wolf Moon

On New Year’s Day the moon is full,

Abenaki people said wolves howled in hunger

outside villages on the first moon after winter solstice,

some years people were hungrier than wolves.

Now there are no wolves left here,

but there are still those who howl with hunger,

though not from the forest behind my house,

there are quieter cries from the village,

where there’s a food shelf in a church;

when the blue moon rises

on the last day of January,

people will be out of food again.

From Earth we can’t see the moon’s dark side,

from the other side of town, we hardly ever

see those who come after work or school,

so they can have lunch or supper.

Some come in moonlight

so they might not be seen,

or better still in darkness,

when a cloud passes over the moon,

ashamed that it’s come to this,

that they must come in hunger.

Those Who Hunger

The hungry eat lunch in a church basement,

come to the food pantry each Saturday,

those who seek refuge

are torn from their children at the border,

those who hunger

ride trains for days seeking sanctuary,

the hungry come

across seas on flimsy boats of flotsam,

some will die on their journey,

many will be turned away,

by angry men,

but someday,

as Bach said in Magnificat:

Esuriéntes implévit bonis:

et dívites dimísit inánes.

He filled the hungry with good things;

and the rich he sent away empty.

George Longenecker lives on the edge of the woods in Middlesex, Vermont. His poems, stories and book reviews have been published in Bryant Literary Review, Evening Street Review, Rain Taxi, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Saturday Evening Post and The Mountain Troubadour. His book Star Route was published by Main Street Rag. He looks for poetry in the paradoxical ways humans repeat their mistakes and reflect nature in their art. He’s glad to make his seventh appearance in Sixfold. See George Longenecker on youtube.

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