Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller

The Kingdom


Power is a heavy cloak, without a realm, invisible.

Reluctantly she rises from her throne, spends hours

scrutinizing empty rooms, bicycles rusting in the shed,

listening to the silence. At night, attempts conquests

with silken robes and magic lotions.

In restless sleep she dreams her subjects

small again, consort, curly-haired and strong.

Days too long, she uses dwindling powers

reading minds and planning lives—to no effect.

Once her realm was busy, full of news. Now

her soldiers live on contentedly—tying their own shoes.

In winter, she stares out her window, studies birds

plumping feathers for warmth, nests in the sun long lost.

Isn’t this what history teaches—all kingdoms end?


Isn’t this what history teaches—all kingdoms end?

In that frigid northeast realm, I slept with him

in my bed beneath the eaves, and dreamed

to the hum of my children’s breath, haunted creak

of pines, mad screams of kittens trying to get in.

Below the window—endless expanse of evergreen

draped across the border. At dawn, he raced

in bare feet across six feet of snow (as others

walked on water), then left me to my own domain.

Sometimes, I followed him into winter’s woods,

studied tracks—padded, clawed, soled—

small hints that we were not alone,

my belly tense with joy and fear.

My reasons for leaving are still unclear.


My reasons for leaving are still unclear.

I’m in a daze, sit for hours in the sun,

children scurrying like elves—

wisps of gold and light—

through an unmowed meadow.

It’s a lonely throne. He’s away all day—

my only conversation howls or jabber.

Occasional cars fly past across the border.

I read novels—Anna under the wheels,

Emma vain and afraid, Tess betrayed.

So much awaits me that I won’t understand.

Time will render these years in pastel hues—

except for an umbrella or muddy boot—

something to remind me I’m simply human too.


Something to remind me I’m simply human too—

it’s not a story, I’ve been told. All these strings

entangling, strangling—making it difficult to breathe.

Sometimes overwhelming, this role of being queen.

I struggle to inhale, swallowed something,

can’t remember the taste.

Once I studied geese above a pond,

arrow pointing south, listened rapt to a story—

border guard’s wife who disappeared.

Now my plot has thickened. I experiment

with potions, enfold myself in shadow,

practice escape—blank pages, trains, pretense.

There is no release. Power is a heavy cloak,

without a realm, invisible.

Linda Sonia Miller has lived, learned and taught in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, among the Winnebago Indians in Wisconsin, on the shores of Walden Pond, and in upstate New York and Connecticut. She’s published short essays in The New York Times, poems in a variety of journals and anthologies, and has had a chapbook published by Finishing Line Press, Something Worth Diving For, in 2012.

Dotted Line