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Poetry Summer 2022    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2022


Joanne Monte
& other poems

Holly York
Still When I Reach for the Leash
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Catholicism Still Lingers in a Concrete Poem
& other poems

D.T. Christensen
Coded Language
& other poems

Laura Faith
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Winter in Choctaw
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
& other poems

Nicole Sellino
iii. moving, an interruption
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
In Memoriam / Day of the Dead
& other poems

Sheri Flowers Anderson
On Being A Widow
& other poems

RJ Gryder
& other poems

William S. Barnes
to hatch
& other poems

Suzannah Van Gelder
& other poems

Sam Bible-Sullivan
The Dying Worker’s Soliloquy
& other poems

Hills Snyder
Eclipse (July 4, 2020)
& other poems

Lauren Fulton
Birth Marks
& other poems

David Sloan
& other poems

Nancy Kangas
Dry Dock Cranes of Brooklyn Navy Yard
& other poems

Noreen Graf
In Attendance
& other poems

Jim Bohen
Nothing Tea
& other poems

Thomas Baranski
Let us name him dread and look forward
& other poems

Sheri Flowers Anderson

On Being a Widow

I mean I miss

the momentary back rubs,

the warmth of your hand

on the spinal pain between

my shoulder blades,

but maybe I sleep better

now that you’re not here. Or maybe not.

The void is wide open, expansive enough

for both wakefulness and dreams

in the absence of your maleness

not pressed into me at two in the morning,

in the weightlessness of your forearm

no longer laying across my side,

in the empty air where your fingers

no longer seek my belly and breast,

in me not fetus curled

while you embrace me in sleep,

not folded inside your

singular reach of us, not matching

your rhythmic breath.

My solitary breath—I hardly hear it—

continues without you,

the way memory of that slow dance in our dreams

lingers within my skin.

We Are All Dying

The ash tree in our front yard is dying.

Every morning branches and twigs are in the yard,

the droppings of old age, the weariness of holding on,

worn thin and brittle by expansive exposure.

Before cutting the grass, we gather these branches,

not acknowledging their peaceful end nor the jagged sorrow

that pokes and tears through plastic trash bags.

Like the branches and twigs, we too become weary, weakened

by strong winds, soft winds, the slow watershed of loss,

by the constant lifting of daily life.

We drop parts and pieces of us every day—

our hands less steady than before,

our balance a bit off as we stand,

eyesight weak in annoying dim light,

dropped words we strain to hear.

We plop memories into shallow pools of refreshment—

our iced tea or hot coffee or energy drinks—

trying to maintain our rooted strength.

Our arms outstretched, we seek hugs, normalcy,

or even lift them in praise,

though we flail in even the softest breeze,

stumble at even the slightest lean.

The Marks of Good Intentions

Unfinished projects leave a trail

of invisible punctuation.

For months—or even years—

exclamation marks surround

abandoned notebooks.

And question marks slip into junk drawers

stuffed with justifiable randomness.

And ellipses dots follow paint cans that

patiently collect dust in the garage.

And partially read books

protect fancy bookmarks like hyphens.

Unfinished projects land softly

in a halfway house in the mind and heart,

that parenthetical space of our to-do list.

We feel the quiet tug of commas,

like tiny hands reaching for us.

Sheri Flowers Anderson, for many years, wrote poetry and stories in the slim margins around work hours and a busy family schedule until her recent happy retirement from her day job. Her poetry has been published in local magazines and anthologies. She currently lives and writes in San Antonio, Texas.

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