Kristy Snedden: “Fog Forecast”

Fog Forecast

After his accident
fog entered our home.
It lifted on my way

to the gym or the office
each morning
when the sun finally

sailed high enough
to unfurl my thoughts,
to remember my best friend

said to call her today or
wonder if the landlord fixed
the plumbing. I forget

the fog is at home.
Last night he greeted me
in the carport

to tell me he took
the dog’s medicine.
He said it with a little

chuckle. Then we rested
in our chairs. The sun gave
her last glint as she slid behind

the mountain and the dark inched
through our house until, finally,
the fog covered me too.


Kristy Snedden has been a trauma psychotherapist for thirty-plus years. She began writing poetry in June 2020 as a path to healing when the pandemic magnified the stress experienced by trauma therapists. Her work appears or is forthcoming in various journals, most recently Snapdragon and Power of the Pause Anthology. She is a student at the Writer’s Studio.

John Dorroh: “Old Towns”

Old Towns

I want an old town like dusted biscuits
in my mother’s kitchen, forget the stretched
chrome-and-glass behemoths, all the new shapes
that young architects sketched in their heads
in their own mother’s kitchens. I want the town
to lie down on top of me and make me earn
my breath. The breakfast diner with pancakes
as large as steering wheels, link sausages, 
eggs sunny-side-up with bottomless cups
of coffee. The family-owned jewelry store 
with shimmering trinkets hung onto tiny limbs 
of fake trees, luring customers into their dens.
The hardware store with the husky mascot, standing
on the edge of a cliff, howling at a white crescent 
moon. I want the wolf in my bed. I will rest
on the sofa and give her a good night’s sleep.
I want an old town with postal workers who
know my name and wear light blue shirts
the same color as my mother’s eyes. The candy
store with homemade fudge two inches thick
and salt water taffy made at the beach down
the road. I want an old town with copper roofs
gone green and the sound of mourning doves 
cooing as the sun slides up over the ridge
of ancient oak and maple trees. I don’t want
to grow up in faux this and faux that
and have a soul buried under the concrete 
that I have to dig out, that I have to fight for
when they unpackage another Chipotle,
clearing my grandmother’s property 
for yet one more place to bury my town.

 


John Dorroh has never fallen into an active volcano or caught a hummingbird. He has, however, baked bread with Austrian monks and consumed a healthy portion of their beer. His poetry has appeared in over 125 journals. Two of them were nominated for Best of the Net. His first chapbook was published in 2022. 





John Grey: “Birthmark”

Birthmark

You say that, at your birth,
the midwife, in the midst of celebration,
spilled wine down the right side of your face.
It was a fine claret, you add.
The stain never did come out.

Another time, you tell me that,
being two-faced physically,
you’ve done your best
to make sure that your nature doesn’t follow.
You’ve always been honest with me.
Everyone else I know says the same.
Your resoluteness is working.

Meeting new people,
you don’t pretend the birthmark isn’t there.
There’s no attempt to hide it
with a string of hair.
It’s as much a part of you
as your bad jokes.
People laugh at them.
You laugh at your own uniqueness.

Your wife says that patch of purple
is what first attracted her to you.
She hasn’t seen it since.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Sheepshead Review, Stand, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Hollins Critic. Latest books–Covert, Memory Outside The Head, and Guest Of Myself–are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Ellipsis, Blueline, and International Poetry Review.

Daniel Webre: “Man in a Green Bubble”

Man in a Green Bubble 

_____The man near eighty resumes his stooped walk from front porch to mailbox. It is posted near a busy road cut through the concrete of strip malls. I’m in one of the cars zipping past his tiny bubble of green trees not yet pierced by the ambitions of developers.

_____I don’t see much but the flash of his life breaking up the Sonic on one side and maybe a dry cleaner on the other, his leftover world no more than an acre tucked between.

_____I tried counting the cars in his driveway—I think there were two. But that doesn’t mean anything. He could have lived alone—maybe never left—the cars mere reminders of a wife and family and motives that took him elsewhere.

_____I remember he wore heavy black-frame glasses and grim determination. Though I wondered if he’d made peace with circumstance and trained his eyes to see only what fit well within those frames.

_____All this in a passing instant. There were Walmarts and McDonalds enough, further along the road, to make me forget that man and his long walk across a bubble, had I not stopped to write them down.


Daniel Webre received an MFA in fiction from McNeese State University and a PhD in English with creative writing concentration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in PinyonCottonwoodPaterson Literary ReviewWayne Literary ReviewThe MacGuffin, and elsewhere.