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The Language of Flannelgraph

By Ed Madden Poetry

1. A sheep and a goat is Jacob and Esau. A sheep and a goat and angel with trumpet is the end of things. Put the goat on the left, sheep on the right. A pair of animals means flood or garden—depends if you want to destroy it all or save it. Or name it.…

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Fist

By Ed Madden Poetry

The leaves on the lawn are brown. Beneath them, the wet ground. Beneath them, the silver roots. Beneath them, the darkness. Given the chance to change, you hold on, the fist a clenched bulb. Last year’s tulips come up again, smaller, shorter, failing— the stunted stem a symptom. The rain tastes like copper, an old…

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The Age of Loss

By Richard Spilman Poetry

You have come to a time when everything is loss— your parents dead, your friends dying or gone south. You have come to a time when you have money and nothing you care to do with it, though you take cruises, spoil the grandkids, redecorate the house, which, schooled in irony, echoes as if abandoned.…

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Midrash

By Todd Davis Poetry

And the heart of man is a green leaf: God twists its stem and it withers. ______________________________—Nikos Kazantzakis At first the hunger in his belly did not burn, nor did it lie at the bottom with the heaviness of stone. It was like iron hammered flat, like the dull edge of a knife pushed against…

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For the Virgin of Sorrows

By David Brendan Hopes Poetry

Remember a time before the big, important occasions that made it into the book, before the winemaking and the raising from the dead. Remember you were a girl, and a boy brought you flowers. The moon moved and another boy brought you flowers. It looked like that was the way it was going to be…

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Woman Holding a Balance

By Michael White Poetry

If the painting-within-the-painting, hanging on the wall behind the standing woman— with its sinners wailing at Christ’s feet on Judgment Day— if that might be one way of looking at it, then the woman herself, who half obscures the painting, is another. All we know of her is what we see: how—weightless, effortless as flame—she…

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Notre Dame

By Fleda Brown Poetry

A shape less recognizable each week, A purpose more obscure. ________—Philip Larkin, “Church Going” In spite of fundamentalists, it keeps on being true, what Larkin said. I’m walking through with my Jewish daughter and her three boys, the stone and glass saying not a word to make any of us believe, but I’m seeing the…

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The Bar Mitzvah

By Fleda Brown Poetry

_____The row of goyim, that’s us, family of half the family, those who don’t talk of Israel at dinner, here because of fate, because of the strangeness of our children, because of this grandchild in his tallis, his kippot, words we read the leaflet to know. We watch the Torah lifted from its rainbow tomb,…

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Canticle of the Sleeping Child

By Jennifer Atkinson Poetry

From The Parables of Mary Magdalene It is like a child asleep outside in her basket, shaded from late afternoon sun, veiled against evening flies, under her parents’ loving watch. Night is coming down, silently, like a worm on its strand of silk. The wind picks up. Let me feed her before we go inside,…

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Canticle of the Penitent Magdalene

By Jennifer Atkinson Poetry

Even so the peaches are ripe, their pelts cat’s tongue to my touch. Even so the fierce poppies tremble. Even so every night a dense blue like cold stones in my mouth. Even so death rides the air, flitting and veering like bats, brushing my outstretched arms, in passing. Even so I dreamed the dream…

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