Gift from the Daughter Who Disappeared | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Your package arrived last night.
When my wife brought it in, I said,
“Make certain it’s not ticking.”
It wasn’t, so she opened it.
I grabbed the wedding pictures
without reading your letter

and saw you and your groom
graciously attired except for
the flannel pajama bottoms.
“My God,” I yelled, “they had
a Hare Krishna wedding!”
Not that there’s anything
wrong with that.

My wife said your letter explains
why you wore pajama bottoms
over your wedding outfits –
to stay warm on a wintry day.
I should have guessed.

The package arrived late
so I felt it unfair to read your letter
when I wasn’t at my best.
After all these years,
one more day in absentia
shouldn’t be held against me.

Your letter looks long, ominous.
I would expect nothing less.
I asked my wife to read it
to see if any land mines lurk.
She said she saw none
but she wasn’t at our Nagasaki
so she might have missed
some deft allusions.

I’m more careful these days
guarding the remnants.
On dark Tuesday mornings,
when I wheel the garbage cans out,
I make certain your brother isn’t
on horseback at the curb,
scabbard unbuckled,
primed for another debate.
You were both so young.
He was a tyke who suffered
the fallout, not the conflagration.

You look good in the photos;
your new husband as well.
The priest looks the way
priests used to look.
He’d be good in old movies
standing in for Spencer or Bing.

You’re a beautiful lady
as the pictures make clear.
Always were, always will be.
Please know it’s difficult
after all these years to dodge
bombs of memory dropped
by what happened
and what never will be.

I promise to get back to you
about all that you’ve sent
and all that I haven’t.
Some day we must
catalogue everything
in case a genealogist
is born into the family
generations hence
and wants to know
what we know.

Till then, much love.
Give my best to the groom.
Tell him pajamas at his wedding
are only the beginning.
A monocle or pince-nez is next.

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Marcia and the Locusts | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Marcia was 17 the first time
thousands of locusts rose
from the fields of her father’s farm
and filled the air, sounding
like zithers unable to stop.
Her father was angry
but Marcia loved the music
the locusts made.
She was in high school then
and chose to make
locusts the focus
of her senior paper.

At the town library
she learned locusts
spend 17 years
deep in the soil,
feeding on fluids
from roots of trees
that make them
strong enough
to emerge
at the proper time
to court and reproduce.
Courtship requires
the males to gather
in a circle and sing until
the females agree
to make them fathers.

Courtship and mating
and laying of eggs
takes almost two months
and then the locusts fall
from the air and die.
Marcia remembers
the iridescent shells
on the ground shining,
She was always careful
not to step on them.
She cried when
the rain and the wind
took them away.

Now 17 years later Marcia is 34
and the locusts are back again.
Her dead father can’t hear them
and Marcia no longer loves the music
the way she did in high school.
Now she stays in the house
and keeps the windows closed
and relies on the air-conditioner
to drown out the locusts.
Marcia has patience, however.
She knows what will happen.
She reads her Bible
and sucks on lemon drops,
knowing the locusts will die.

In the seventh week,
the locusts fall from the air
in raindrops, then torrents.
“It is finished,” Marcia says.
She pulls on her father’s boots
and goes out in the fields
and stomps on the shells
covering the ground
but she stomps carefully.

At 34 Marcia’s in no hurry.
Before each stomp,
she names each shell
Billy, John, Chuck,
Terrence or Lester,
the names of men
who have courted her
during the 17 years
since high school.
They all made promises
Marcia loved to hear,
promises she can recite
like a favorite prayer.
She made each man happy
as best she could.
They would grunt
like swine the first night,
some of them for many nights.
But then like locusts
they would disappear.

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Minotaur | A Poem by JD DeHart

In olden days, he waited
for the bravest. But they stopped
They were too distracted with
their mobile devices, their games,
and hardly went outside
Soon, he declared, it was time
to stop waiting, for he had not
been killed and respawned
in decades.
So, the fearsome one strode
from his sanctum. He observed
the bright lights of existence,
took in a few shows,
and experienced the miracle
of television.
He found a plastic mold action
figure of himself.
Beleaguered, he took a job
cleaning a shopping complex
at night (it was feared he would
scare away customers in
Now, he sits, dreaming of his
labyrinth, remembering the taste
of steel, and meditating
on the glory of the old days.
As we all do.

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New City | A Poem by G.S. Katz

Let’s move to a new city
Middle of nowhere
Open space
Buy up the whole floor
Top story
We’ll make love all the time
Go for long walks
Even get an espresso machine
I’m in
Are you?

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Little Cartons, Little Sacks | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

The mug of tea
I drank at dawn,
the tea that drove

me to the train
needs a refill.
At my desk,

I don’t do much
but wait for lunch
when every day

I eat so much
the waitress gawks.
She doesn’t

realize the years
till supper
when I’ll dine

alone again,
bolt everything
that I bring home

in little cartons,
little sacks.
She’s not there

when the couch
becomes my slab
till ten

when bed
my mausoleum.

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A Woman’s Dream | A Poem by Raviera

To Whoever said come out of your dreams and live in the real
Dreaming is the only time to feel real freedom…
I dream of a safe environment for my sisters and daughters.
I dream of freedom.
I dream of world where love and kindness is real.
I dream of a world where I can breathe freely.
I dream of a world where I am looked upon with respect.
I dream of a world free of envy, hatred and fear
A world of justice.
I dream, I dream and I dream…and…I wish my eyes never opened…
inspired by every woman’s dream…

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Broken | A Poem by Raviera

Nothing killed me
No one could beat me
I won a thousand wars against many
And still I stood with my head held high
And a big smile
But the day my own people abandoned me
Something died in me
Now I am not alive anymore
I breathe no more
I see no more
I am no more

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