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Poetry Winter 2015    fiction    all issues


Cover Peter Rawlings

J. H Yun
& other poems

Colby Hansen
Killing Jar #37
& other poems

Melissa Bond
Freud's Asparagus
& other poems

Jane Schulman
When Krupa Played Those Drums
& other poems

Susan F. Glassmeyer
First Moon of a Blue Moon Month
& other poems

Melissa Tyndall
& other poems

Micah Chatterton
& other poems

Emily Graf
& other poems

Kate Magill
LV Winter, 2015
& other poems

Michael Fleming
Meeting Mrs. Ping
& other poems

Richard Parisio
Brown Creeper
& other poems

Jennifer Leigh Stevenson
Circe in Business
& other poems

Laurel Eshelman
& other poems

Barry W. North
Molotov Cocktail of the Deep South
& other poems

Charles C. Childers
& other poems

Ricky Ray
A Way to Work
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Linda Sonia Miller
Full Circle
& other poems

J. Lee Strickland
Anna's Plague
& other poems

Erin Dorso
In the Kitchen
& other poems

Holly Lyn Walrath
Behind the Glass
& other poems

Jeff Lewis
Charles Ives, A Connecticut Yankee
& other poems

Karen Kraco
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill
& other poems

Rafael Miguel Montes
& other poems

Laurel Eshelman


The Virgin Mary up at St. Mary’s is wrapped in a drop cloth

the color of stone. It is pulled over her face,

drawn down around shoulders to her feet, the corners seized

and tied in a bunched knot across her waist.

She is mute, visionless in the blankness of sacking, muffled

from sparrow calls in the cedars.

No eye may look upon her.

In a week her son sets his sights

on the city, dashes in with the crowd

and no caution. In two he is

besieged and bared.

March snow weighs Mary’s wrappings down

upon her. The shroud sags—

her right hand, pale stone appears,

three fingers raised against shadows.

Her staying power pierces like a sword, the fibers darken

over her breast. Snow splays

across her naked toes—

a white dove

shelters there.

Home Game

A winter rain pounds the roof

like the clamor at a home game

when the basketball is stolen,

dribbled downcourt and launched

on a long smooth arc.

As night gives in and ice lies down

the crowd hushes and awaits the ball’s descent—

by midday the siren at the volunteer fire station wails.

The township maintenance guy slides the alley,

mechanics from the garage sprint the highway,

boys we shouted for in the old gym as they set up the play,

lofted the risky three-pointer.

They rev fire trucks to the curve beyond the ridge

while they gear up, readying to ply deliverance.

The memory of feet stomping wooden bleachers

in the stifling gymnasium embraces those shivering

on the shoulder.

—it rushes the hoop

and swishes,

the crowd rises,

their voices hoarse

with praise.


She lies on the table.

They slather her with gel,

slide the ultrasound wand

over every contour line of her breast,

then prod.

She remembers her morning walk,

the dark calves being driven off,

the hot scent of hair and hide

rising off the confined cattle.

It rises from her memory now and permeates

the room.

A needle pierces her breast,

her gown slips off,

the cows bellow and her sweaty fingers

grip the table.

On the drive home,

the hills embroidered gold

with mown and baled hay

prick her eyes.

She hears the calves—

they are bawling now.

You Call Me to Jump

You call me to jump into a pool.

The water is dark. It looks deep.

I do not recognize the place.

Kids swim and flail,

ducklings without instinct,

some drop below the surface.

My day grows short. I hear your voice

and I hear a six-year-old yelling at me—

Auntie, help, I need help.

I push the kindergartener

up the hill on his bike

and listen to his non-stop shouts—

Look, I can ride a bike.

Can I push up my sleeves,

lift my skirt

and jump in?

Here I am,

hitting the cold surface.

Keep calling.

I need to hear your voice.

Laurel Eshelman writes from Elizabeth, Illinois, population 700, and works a few blocks from home at the family business, Eshelman Pottery. Her chapbook, The Red Mercy, was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Palettes and Quills Chapbook Contest. Laurel’s poems and essays have appeared in her chapbook, The Scale of Things, in Love from Galena, The Phoenix Soul, Sweet & Saucy and The Prairie Wind.

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