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El Cristo de Piedra

By Orlando Ricardo Menes Poetry

Valle de Viñales, Cuba, 2002 In this valley where limestone hills jut out like hairy moles over furrows of tobacco, a rock-face Christ sprawls on a skew cross, as if a child had taken loose chert to etch his fanged mouth, stick legs, twigged fingers. I touch gouged eyes that weep candle wax, caress his…

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Reflection upon Psalm 121

By Christopher Howell Poetry

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. I think of that line again as blossoms blow with rain. Beyond the orchard someone sings. Birds cant their heads to ask if this is the tree they remember, if the refugee finds refuge, truly. Steam rises off the pond; or is it a cordite fog,…

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Friend

By Christopher Howell Poetry

The Psalmist said, “Lord, how shall I not call thy name?” The hills were green with his wonder and the birds flew filled with singing, so he sang, “Lord, how shall I not know thee upon the mountain when thy sheep are the great stars of heaven, thy horn the sun and moon, and all…

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A Christmas Story

By Robert Cording Poetry

Sure, I’d had too much wine and not enough of the Advent hope that candles are lit for; and I’ll confess up front, I was without charity for our guest who, glassed in behind those black, small, rectangular frames, reminded me of those poems that coldly arrange a puzzle of non sequiturs to prove again…

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Bede’s Sparrow

By Robert Cording Poetry

In the middle of the day, I was lost in thought, staring at my newly dead father, or the portion of him the funeral home gave me back in a cheap little plastic urn I’d placed on my study’s mantle. I’d been reading about Bede’s sparrow, which, it turned out, was not Bede’s at all,…

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Rumspringa

By Becca J.R. Lachman Poetry

At secret slumber parties, Ruth and Ruby burst out of back rooms transformed. Their own version of ascension: loosed hair fanning pubic bones, shrieking louder than the rest of us. No bonnet, no beckoning church. Strong legs in borrowed Levi’s, our lipsticks strewn through sleeping bags. § From stolen stacks of their brothers’ outdated films…

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Tuesday: Rhubarb, Lattice Crust

By Becca J.R. Lachman Poetry

Three things you can’t control: life, death, and children. Lord knows, you’ve tried. Good God knows, there’s holy risk just beyond the farm lane’s bend. And the paper and the radio shout of doom-oh-doom-oh. Yet you can force certain things to taste as you expected; you can bake brave resolution into rhubarb, its stiff pink…

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Monday: Peach

By Becca J.R. Lachman Poetry

Once, there was a path from springhouse to kitchen’s side entrance splitting the hill. Once, there was a sudden almost- funeral: daughter gasping in the water trough, pushed in by older brother now turned senator. Farmers once retrieved dippers for clear gulps between harvest and the afternoon milking, the springhouse door fashioned to resist an…

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Sunday: Day of Rest

By Becca J.R. Lachman Poetry

(Twenty-four crusts to be frozen) Rise when sky’s amber. As coffee pot fusses, sift dry ingredients, butter the size of an egg. Measure out the needed doses. Have a passing thought about those years you weren’t allowed in this farmhouse kitchen without permission, how your new mother- in-law clucked each time flour clouded to the…

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Adjusting to Darkness

By Lisa Williams Poetry

or something in the sight adjusts itself to midnight…. —Emily Dickinson For a while, I’ve been considering nothing. The nothing my grandmother refused and my grandmother’s grandmother, all of them stretching back through the void with their kinds of certainty bracing the light of the stars. In the Methodist church, my grandmother opened her hymnal,…

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