It wasn’t yet Easter when Miss O
fell to the floor and the chairs
danced on the tiles with glory.
The acoustics in that room
were filled with the Holy Ghost,
but we weren’t pew jumpers.
We feared her death and rising.
On a Sunday she was washed
in the blood, water baptized
in Austin’s miry river.
But Pastor S lost his grip
and the current plucked her clean
out of his novice hands.
It was a deacon raised her.
She went down to her clay grave
one cold April at the end of Lent.
But on the notched east corner
the lowering device slipped
and dropped her headfirst down
into the hole, the loam, the dark,
where she was crowned.
Greg Huteson has an M.A. in English literature from the College of William and Mary. His poems have appeared in the Saint Katherine Review, The Christian Century, and other journals. For the last twenty years he has resided in Taiwan and China.
The Chimera of Notre-Dame
Day like any other, spring in Paris,
the cafés alive with pretty girls, April flowers,
the regimented square, cheerful terraces —
oh, and that abomination, the Eiffel Tower.
Admittedly, I have grown bored,
a post-modernist case of French ennui;
for two centuries I’ve glowered
here, a chimera of Viollet-le-Duc, no airs
or claim to authenticity, squatting above
the tourist hordes.
(Still I’ve had my piece, seen my share;
Napoleon III, La Belle Époque, the Nazi siege,
that dark time that brought my city to its knees.)
Don’t ask why I remain. Shat on by birds,
the belching smog, the acid rain;
all’s worn quite thin, slightly absurd.
It’s for Our Lady, I suppose. Grotesque,
I am, but a soul still flutters in the hardest stone.
I’ve served her well. Best guardian of her blessed home.
Enough of that . . .
The old sun sets the way it does
but then a sense of something new, a cause
perhaps to pivot on this buttress if I could;
whiff of smoke, cacophonous bells,
hell’s searing heat, exploding ancient wood.
The plaster cracks along my spine
while like a moth from its caul my claws, beak,
wings emerge, feathering as the granite crumbs
and falls; the sculptor's handiwork undone
in the nick of time as flames lick my cheek,
the fires surge —
I cast my eye upon the glittering night,
fly with the ash into the City of Light.
Lisa McCabe works, lives, and writes in Nova Scotia. She has published poems in Sewanee Review, Limestone Review, HCE Review, and various other print and online journals.
He Asks Me the Difference Between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
and I tell him it is the difference between life and death,
between breathing and absence,
between November and May,
between cemeteries and cemeteries,
between discounts and nothing,
between Thank you and I don’t know what to say.
Ron Riekki’s books include U.P., Posttraumatic, the upcoming My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction, and i have been warned not to write about this.
Eve was Adam’s ribling sibling—
Kin, if not by blood, by marrow—
An apple-nibbling, sibling ribling
When Adam married, ’cause his choice was narrow.
Begat they did, and begat begetters
Who begat till family tree was a forest.
And soon they were all their forebears’ betters,
And they rose as one in church and chorused:
“Adam and Eve were original sinners.
There’d be no sin were there no beginners.
Yes, sure as we’re standing under this steeple.
There’d be no sin
’Cause there’d be no people.”
Douglass Allen is a near octogenarian who has been writing poetry for over 60 years. He recently decided to revise, revise, revise, and submit, submit, submit while still compos mentis. He continues to teach at Furman University.
There are no death rites
for a dead cell phone
no period of mourning
for a lost connection
only a period of grumbling
and feigned sympathy from friends
who if I’d said “grandparent”
would at least have added inflection
and stopped texting.
But that dead cell phone
had the last text
of my dead grandad on it:
Come over. Need hrlp with squirrels.
Devin Guthrie is a disabled, genderqueer, asexual studying Existential Psychology at Texas A&M. They received the James F. Parker award, and their work has appeared in The Notre Dame Review, Confrontation, New Reader Magazine, Hubbub, Takahē, and the Adirondack Review.