Dotted Line Dotted Line

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

Holly York


What I never told you is that

I really don’t like fried chicken.

I was lucky, everyone said so,

to have you to feed me on recipes

you researched to find the ideal

scientific preparation for each

new dish: Beef Wellington, rosemary-scented

sweet corn, Peking Duck, quenelles de brochet.

You would pronounce them all tasteless while I

couldn’t conceal my delight. But your true

intent was to discover your Southern

mother’s secret chicken, brined, battered,

crisped in a tsunami of molten Crisco.

Your sky-hued eyes smiled as you announced it

as the evening menu. Jaw clenched, I would fork

a wing and push the small bones around my plate,

                                     hoping you wouldn’t notice.

The Garden

Vines choke every corner:

wisteria, English ivy, thorny

greenbrier, Virginia creeper.

Some can’t be pulled up.

Draping stems drag down,

strangle all they grasp to stasis

in their ropy race to block the light.

We both knew why you didn’t take the meds

per script—not for lack of pain—instead to hoard

a stash for when it all became too much.

It all became too much. Another fall—

you said I’m done. I talked you out of it

that day but didn’t hide those pills.


The fruiting body erupts, grown

from rot within the earth.

Mea culpas spring from rot

within the soul, digest

the dead and mushroom forth.

You always said only half in jest

that you wanted to be laid to rest

in the woods, a banquet for creatures,

exposure as celebration.

You, who found so little pleasure

otherwise, those later years, loved

cooking for us as we sat around

a single table, “like a big

Italian family,” you said,

though we weren’t.

No exposure in the woods but your ashes

planted in the church garden

will nourish mushrooms after all.

Still, when I reach for the leash

seventy pounds of raw exuberance

pound down in a sharp-clawed play

to land on the top of my bare right foot,

fine bones and tender skin. I

hop around on the other foot—I curse

and howl, but you are no longer here

to laugh. Walk completed, the dog

bounds on to whatever’s next,

looks for you,

leaves me alone

and scraped.

Finally, I Sold His Car

Radio tuned to NPR

parking pass still on the dash

tennis ball to massage his aching back

water bottle in the cupholder

in the trunk, biking shoes no longer used

navy blue sport coat, folded, in its pocket

a “note to self” about some chocolates

he planned to buy for me.

Holly York is Senior Lecturer Emerita of French at Emory University. Her poems appear in Crosswinds and in online journals in the U.S. and U.K. Her chapbooks are: “Backwards Through the Rekroy Wen,” “Picture This” and “Postcard Poems.” Her current project is a collection titled Flight Recorder, based on her life as a Pan Am stewardess in the 1970s. A blackbelt in karate and grandmother of five, she lives in Atlanta with her two Dobermans.

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