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The Trick

By Mark Wagenaar Poetry

I’ve always loved that scene in The Seventh Seal where Jof, poor broke Jof the juggler, rushes back to tell his wife Mia that he’s just seen the virgin & child, so close to me that I could have touched her, but Mia is skeptical, wants to know what they’ll eat this winter, wants to…

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The Stars of Last Resort

By Jeanne Murray Walker Poetry

Imagine someday the splurge drains out of fall. Holding a melon you know a creek of light streams inside its rough burlap ball, but if you cut it open you know stars will fall extinguished in the dark. You know the quarrel of the squeaky porch swing, know the cold that stacks goldfish like knives…

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Parsonage with Two Maples

By Terri Witek Poetry

I. In unvarnished foreground, a cat offers his paw in a dingy splint to children who bend over it, one in a red, zipped-up jacket so the whole scene is drawn away from the fields, the church where someone’s arranging flowers in deep, dented vases (we can’t see any of this but her parked car,…

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For a Birthday and Wedding Anniversary, Two Days Apart

By Jill Peláez Baumgaertner Poetry

Mornings their garden greens and flowers, tomatoes ripen fat as babies’ bellies, hollyhocks tower straight-laced as fence rails. This is not the black-topped yard of her childhood, weedless, grassless, without tree bark or squirrel. Here she follows behind her husband’s wild planting. Where Adam has sown, she is Eve weeding, creating order and the simplicity…

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Rare Sighting

By Michael Symmons Roberts Poetry

Because the crab apple tree is not incarnate, but a shape cut from sky, you simply pull its trunk a little wider and step through. Once on the other side, you turn, take stock, lean on a bough, and look back at it all. So strange to catch your own life unawares, to see your…

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Paper Route

By Brian Doyle Poetry

Mr. Moore, who drank; his oldest son paid the bill without looking at me. The apartment with the dog who ate two paperboys, leaving only their shoes. The Morrows who once paid me with a hundred-dollar bill, keep the change. The Sunderlands, who wanted the paper unfolded and laid flat under a stone, Which I…

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Fourth Week, First Contemplation, Second Prelude

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

Your place, not mine. Vessels for water, of course. Maybe one for wine. Bread, smoked fish, honey in an earthen jar. Basins for ablutions. The bed you share with pleasure to ponder. And somewhere for prayer, rug, bench, stool, shelf beneath the shell collection, keepsake chips of Egyptian glass, Silk Road cloth, a dark blue…

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Broken Cup

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

I’ve forgotten how it broke, the great cause or the petty cause that cracked the handle into three pieces and left me without a cup for morning coffee. In the cabinet, there were others of white porcelain, with steeply elegant lines, cups that matched their saucers. But my cup was Mexican, squat, and as round…

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The Offices

By Andrew Hudgins Poetry

Whether we have slept through Matins’ dream offices or lain awake, we rise to a morning bell we do not call Lauds, and not calling it ablution, we, for the day’s offices, flush dust and dead skin from our many creases. On the highway and through the parking garage to a computer pinging with the…

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