A Lucky Girl
She is the youngest daughter
the good listener,
the lucky one with straight
teeth, the last born,
not often given to advice.
People tell her their secrets.
Before Dad ran off to Mexico,
with the best friend,
the older sister never had
much to say about life at Farmlands;
the high-water bungalow,
twenty-acres of tomatoes,
stewing in summer’s kettle.
How she skips right through his warnings
Don’t go down to the river.
Never speaks of the whippings,
behind the barn,
except to the little sister,
the good listener.
How it takes forever to unhook his belt,
the one with the horseshoe buckle.
How she braces for the sting
against the planks of bubbled paint.
leather to soft skin
tattoed with welts
as if she just stepped on a wasps nest,
and not out of line.
Geo. Staley is retired from teaching at Portland Community College. He inadvertently takes selfies—which sometimes work out well—and is always thankful when a poem finds a home.
AFTER THE ALARM
Cori Davis is an attorney and writer from Northwest Florida. She has been published in the Blackwater Review and won the 2018 Creative Nonfiction prize at Northwest Florida State College. Most of her non-writing time is spent working for several volunteer organizations as well as homeschooling her eight year old son, from whom she derives a great deal of creative inspiration.
Lila’s Bar and Grille
Helicopters are crossing the skies
talk of another war
I’m waiting through the storm
in the cool fogbank
among foghorns and seagull cries
where the old men hunker
over coffee cups
behind café windows
while spiders crawl centuries
from hand to elbow and back again
lacing another dream
kingdom to catch us all
those sinister little gods
Douglas Cole has published four collections of poetry and a novella. His work appears in anthologies such as Best New Writing, Bully Anthology, and Coming Off The Line as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Chiron, The Galway Review, Red Rock Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net, and has received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry, judged by T.R. Hummer; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway. His website is douglastcole.com.
Congratulations to the Nominees!
2018 Paddock Review Pushcart Prize Nominations:
· Roy Bentley for the poem “Woman Hanging Out Her Family’s Washing during the Harsh Winter in Eastern Kentucky”
· Heather Corbally Bryant for the poem “The Easterly”
· Rachel Custer for the poem “Field”
· Malcolm Glass for the poem “My Bicycle”
· Helena Minton for the poem “The Visit”
· Anton Yakovlev for the poem “CAT OF DEATH”
A Nap at Rum River
Who would not like to stop
in the sun at Rum River and nap?
In Minnesota, flat terrain offers no surprise, but altitude
(called locally “geospatial extent”) seldom exceeds a tree.
Endemic soil fans look up and point, intriguing the tourists
who wrestle disorientation during upward gaze too high and
so topple to what tricksters at these altitudes call “just rest.”
Cold spring air leaks squealing, cat cries, into the troposphere;
winds slow, not to end winter, but to end tasteless redundancy.
By the way, I am neither native, nor a Vikings fan. If you repeat
what I say, someone here (although very nice people in general)
may try to sell your spleen to an organ hospital in Minneapolis.
I moved here to win a bet; I learned all these facts at first hand;
I did return home (I can’t reveal the location) every four months
or so to send anonymous reportage to the New York Times, not
once having my stories believed. So I’ve started hiking through
sunny Minnesota down the curlicue Rum River (check it out)
that will not permit compass direction; often stopping to nap.
If you read this poem, please be sure to then destroy it and live.
This poem first appeared in Mojave River Review.
Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. Finishing Line Press released a chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in 2015. Aldrich Press published Naked Among Possibilities in 2016; Finishing Line Press has just released (1/17) Investment in Idolatry. In August, 2017, Aldrich Press released Not on Any Map, a collection of earlier poems. These poems are all from a new work about prairie life through U.S. history, including regional trials, character, and attachment to the land.