Wheelchair with a View

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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When you sit in this chair all day
and look out the window for years,
the garden is calendar and clock

declaring the coming of seasons.
You know when to expect them
but spring is always a surprise.

After surviving long winters
you forget after so many years
the daffodils will shout again

and blooms on the redbud cover
leaves that will hide young robins,
their beaks open for more.

Winter is all you remember until,
for reasons only God knows,
spring smiles again.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

To Migrate Or To Stay

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Contributor: John Grey

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Evening grosbeaks,
black and yellow,
feed on grass tips.

I stand behind the glass doors,
watch them interact,
small almost imperceptible messages
passed between by eye or sound,
answering hunger one moment
and instinct the next.

They will fly south soon,
so the ones that survive that treacherous journey
can winter in paradise.
I'll stay behind,
feel the temperature drop day by day,
witness the gathering of gray clouds
and the surrender of the landscape
to snow.

There's nothing in me
to match the innate impulses
of these tiny birds.
Yes, I may turn up the heat.
But, much as I'd like to,
I don't head automatically for Florida
when the colors change.

I'm a year round resident
like the unlovely sparrows.
Day after day, I'm witness
as they eke out a perilous living.

I live in a small house
on a unremarkable lot,
that's occupied by
creatures that leave for a better situation,
those that don't
and a few, like me,
who'd leave if it were feasible
but stay because it's not.
Not much of a selection, no doubt.
And yet, who have I forgotten?


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John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.

Genuine Forever

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Contributor: Korra Abraham-Whatley

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When you left
it tore me
the knife
the pulling
the separation
flesh cut from flesh
heart cut from heart
and soul
slashed to ribbons
left to flutter
in icy winds
in icy eternity
a forever
so temporary
yet I couldn't see it
couldn't see it
until the ice had melted
until I stood on a hill
surrounded by green
and saw everything I've ever wanted
in a better man
in one
who reached out to me
with such a softness
who took my hand
led me
into genuine forever.


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I live in a suitcase and enjoy writing poetry while watching the glittering lights of Los Angeles, Rome and Ontario.

Makes Forever Shorter

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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When a bullet goes in
and doesn’t come out
you read about it
in the paper, hear
about it on TV.

A person takes a bullet
near the heart and learns
a surgeon can't remove it.
It's part of him forever.
Happens like a drive-by

shooting when a loved one
makes a comment no
apology can remove.
The loved one doesn't
know there’s a problem,

doesn’t realize lightning
through the cerebellum
is by far a better option.
Doesn't let the victim linger.
Makes forever shorter.


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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Detour

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Contributor: Jane Blanchard

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The route would be routine by now
If only I remembered how.

The signs I am supposed to use
Are all too likely to confuse.

Some arrow at some intersection
Leads me in some obscure direction.

I go as far out of my way
As I did just the other day.


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Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia. Her first collection, Unloosed, and her second, Tides & Currents, are both available from Kelsay Books.

Mermaid Ashtray

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Contributor: JD DeHart

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My brother came back home
at least three times.
First, after a chemical explosion
in Alabama.
I imagine he still carries some
amount of his lead in his body.

Then, after a divorce.
Messy, like a broken ankle
of the heart. He came
hobbling back to the family
casa.

I say all of this to suggest
what a shock it was to see
him in his native habitat,
I being so much younger.

The smell of smoke, an
obsession with out-of-place
exercise equipment, and a
mermaid ashtray with
breasts exposed.

I wanted to protect the rest
of my family from its crude
visage, but couldn't bear
to touch it.


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Without Nothing

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Contributor: Betal P.K. Pelario

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born in a silver trailer
born on the road
born forever following
the silver rails
born without nothing
never without nothing
just antiques
just old radios
old memories
all pieces of grammy
all going to dust
all up in ashes
all wind
dustdevils
white devils
flaming gasoline
devoured
like the trailer
like the land
we could never settle
or soothe.


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