Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is nothing else upon earth that I desire beside thee. —Psalm 73:25, RSV The road, crowned with undisturbed gravel, where once a killdeer dared build a nest, lay four grey mottled eggs, each pivoted toward an unmarked center,
My mother’s hands pinned patterns she unfolded, thin brown as last year’s leaves, onto cotton, rayon, double-knit, velvet,
In her memory, the hive sat in the side yard, echoing family rituals and routines. Summer mornings, workers would swarm the basil plant on the porch. They bothered no one—not even Dale, whose deck chair always sat close by. Maisy could scarcely think of when she had ever been stung…
Even the ground feels aggrieved, steeped in the death spittle of Confederate greys, tears of miners’ brides, split shine from a last run with the law.
Recently I was asked to talk about the experience of having one’s work rejected, so I began by listing highlights of such low points in my own writing life. The one from the high school teacher who said I couldn’t have written the poem I turned in so I must…
An overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth—Goethe I’ve run out of verbs on the shoulder of I-75. Semis barrel, no, blast, no, thunder past my blown-out Outback, the shimmy I ignored for thirst of home, tire that looked fine
Under the old redbud in the boulevard, sound umbrellas our heads, lifted as to thunder. Near oh near, they cry above us, and together, though deaf in their midst, we speak the names we have learned in lives brief and long. Cicada, says my granddaughter, given by her mother.
Hand reaching backwards through time, and which was I? The murderer or the murdered? Likely, never a noble dressed in lace, not even a damn general.
Charlie Fraley, I seen your face first thing upon my passing from this side to the next, that devil’s box shoved up and underneath your chin,
Named for the moon. Little Luna. Luna, blue. The details surrounding your birth are murky, some say 1878, others say a decade later, but why squabble over a handful of years? What’s most clear is that by the time you were born in eastern Kentucky, people had settled into its…