Dotted Line Dotted Line

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

Writer's Site

Linda Sonia Miller


Last night, front lawn, the Dad stands

after arriving late from work at the E.R.

where he’s watched a thirteen year old girl

slip into a coma—and puts his arm

around the shoulders of his 12 year old

daughter, now as tall as he.

They stare into that starlit velvet dome

eyes on the moon slowly enveloped by earth’s

shadow, its fullness diminished, then enhanced

as it turns rusty brown then iridescent red

each shade, each change mysterious

the way earth’s perfect roundness eclipses

the moon’s until it vanishes

beneath this planet’s exact otherness

as though moon and earth were twins

or friends sharing a moment

as parent and daughter might share

some unspoken understanding perhaps

on a night like this, she still child enough

to love his company best, he still energized

after a long, tiring day by the presence

of his sylph-like daughter, who asked him

to wake her, hours past her bedtime, to witness

this transformation together.

Kaida Does The Stomp

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

—Sir Francis Bacon

Gray autumn day, sliver of sun, tennis court bestrewn:

leaves, puddles, abandoned toys. Playground bereft

of children but for the two-foot tall, fairy/elfin creature

in blue corduroy coat embroidered with flowers and owl,

feet in three-inch slippers, pink leather petals on each set of toes

—barely anchored to earth.

She pauses at a puddle, studies a floating spire, yellow trees

grizzled trunks, rhythmically stomps each small foot in turn,

ripples, unravels the scene, runs to the next puddle, pauses

stares, stomps again, a dance of sorts, puddle to puddle

across the court, oblivious of all but the mystery of a world

afloat, sound, feel of water splashing

until she reaches the net, raises that shabby curtain,

stagehand and star, crawls beneath, faces her audience

of one—and applauds herself.

Full Circle

(after the painting by Peter McCaffrey)

On new legs she stands, eyes wide

afraid—it’s the world after

that moist landscape, unremembered

mostly lost

before that other

muddled affair, kaleidoscopic

dark and bright

slowly coming into focus,

Timid, legs placed wide

for traction in this unfamiliar place

she glances back

and bleats

newly sprung from one unknown

to another, and much later

another still awaits her

but this time perhaps

she’ll be brave, replete

sweet hay, sun-drenched grassy plain

strong bovine body, calves of her own

that kept her warm.


I stretch into the pose: inhale, exhale

bend, stretch

                                           feel body and mind

                                           attempt escape

morning news: six year old boy, hand broken

by his father’s torturer

                                           two-thousand refugees trapped

                                           in no-man’s land

my joints fight September’s chill

a phone call:

                                           my mother tells me she cannot see

                                           only blurs and memories

across the room, rope of sunlight

a bird appears, flutters

                                           against the windowpane

                                           as if trying to break in

disappears, re-appears from that blue-gold

high above the green

                                           soars to a neighbor’s roof, a sign

                                           above his side-door: Deliveries

descends, looks in at me again—beak and black-seed eyes

press against the pane

                                           as if my small, constructed world

                                           clapboard walls built long ago

promise permanence or safety, while I desire that vast blue

clouds wild, buoy of light:

                                           ascend, descend, gold to green

                                           and back again—Deliver Us I read

The Weight of Birds

(after the painting by Peter McCaffrey)

Even the soul

             though beautiful

                          and weightless

                                       is not free

except perhaps

             in the warm womb

                          newly hatched

                                       into otherness

but even then


                          by that blood-red thread

                                       to history.

Everything tries

             to hold us

                          though we emerge


cut adrift

             most ourselves

                          asleep or alone

                                       in perfect stillness

as if perched on the shore

             of a pond at dusk

                          to find one’s self


then afloat



Linda Sonia Miller I have been a teacher of kindergarten and college students, teachers and incarcerated youth in Vermont, New York and Connecticut. My work has appeared in a variety of journals, and my chapbook Something Worth Diving For was published in 2012. I am inspired to write by the woods and mountains among which I live, the increasingly incomprehensible political landscape, and the revelations that come from a life spent among children.

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