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Poetry Summer 2018    fiction    all issues

Poetry Cover Summer 2018


Cover Michael Lønfeldt

Carol Lischau
& other poems

Noreen Ellis
Jesus Measured
& other poems

Amanda Moore
Learning to Surf
& other poems

Adin Zeviel Leavitt
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
Stay a Minute, the Light is Beautiful
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
The Wellfleet Oyster
& other poems

Anna Hernandez-French
Watermelon Love
& other poems

J. L. Grothe
Six Pregnancies
& other poems

Sue Fagalde Lick
Beauty Confesses
& other poems

Abby Johnson
Finding Yourself on Google Maps
& other poems

Marisa Silva-Dunbar
& other poems

Merre Larkin
Sensing June
& other poems

Savannah Grant
& other poems

Andrew Kuhn
Plains Weather
& other poems

Catherine Wald
Against Aubade
& other poems

Joe Couillard
Like New Houses Settling
& other poems

Faleeha Hassan
In Nights of War
& other poems

Olivia Dorsey Peacock
Thelma: ii
& other poems

Sarah Louise
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Inherent Injustice
& other poems

Frannie Deckas
Child for Sale
& other poems

Jacqueline Schaalje
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
Her Face
& other poems

Ashton Vaughn
& other poems

Merre Larkin

The Dandelion Days

He was small then. Condensed.

His fleshy stubby legs would carry him through fields,

his soft virginal hands touching everything.

He’d bring me, proudly, with all the love

his miniature heart

with its bursting intentions

could beam,

a dandelion.

I’d put it in a juice glass on the counter,

longing for it to stay

that way.

Captured in time, so briefly,

so yellow.

78 East

I hold his hand to cross the road. At some point, he stops taking my hand. At another, he vehemently pushes it away. Now we are on opposite sides of the road but walking in the same direction. What if he turns to go the other way?

I am driving on the highway. He is in the passenger seat, his angst as always present in the shadows of his face. I don’t know what to do about that anymore.

He glances sideways at me and I catch a pleading in his eyes. But when I make a move to cross, his face contorts into a storm.

“Mom, you know how I’ve been having kind of a bad week?”

I see his fists clench at his side and I instantly think he must blame me for everything that our lives have turned out to be.

“Well, I’ve kind of been having a bad year.”

I want to hold him, tell him none of it is his fault. He is the light that came into my life when everything else was falling apart. I stop walking and turn my body to stare helplessly across the road to him. Please, my child, let me in.

“Mom, I’m gay.”

He stops walking. He slowly turns to face me and brings his eyes to meet mine. We search each other for answers. Let there be some.

“Are you sure?” (What a fucking stupid thing to say.)

The cars are flashing by us but it doesn’t matter. We’ve connected beyond time and place, past and future, all of it.

“Yeah.” (Gentle with me, relief in his voice.)

All of a sudden, it’s only us, mother and child, the cars are gone, the road disappears, and we’re transported to a field of wildflowers growing up around us, recklessly, haphazardly, radiantly.


I reach out to him and he lets me. His head leans hard on my shoulder. I hold him close.

Sensing June

I smell

parched earth

drinking in

soft rain.

I taste

dusty heat

steaming off



I see

its cloud


our travels.

I hear

my son’s


beside me.

I feel

his height




I sense

his thirst

like the


We walk,

side by

side, and

I want

to tell



of clear waters

will drench

his eager soul

and he too

will know

what quenched

feels like.

But it

won’t help.

Merre Larkin is a writer, educator and counselor living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is revising a novel, working on a memoir, and continuing to submit her poetry. She has raised three children as a single mother and relishes uncovering pockets of time newly available for her writing as her children embark on their own life adventures.

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