Shutta Crum
Joseph McNair
Laszlo Slomovits
Joanie Freeman
Chris Lord
Elisavietta Ritchie
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Duane Locke
Mervyn M. Solomon
Paul B. Roth
Sue Budin
Running Cub
Silvia Scheibli
Geoffrey Philp
Marilyn Churchill
Jerry Blanton
Steve Beaulieu
Don Hewlett

Fred Wolven


It came with the house--a white 1954 General Electric stove, 39" wide, four burners
                   that work on selected settings, one small oven bowed on its sides,
          a miniscule hole in its bottom and a door that doesn't quite shut.  Racks slip

from worn grooves, lodge where they shouldn't when I try to slide them in and out.
                   The clock on the other hand still works, and as I reset time, I become a
          teenage girl again, banished to the kitchen on Roselawn to eat on a stove of the

same vintage because of another case of uncontrollable giggles at the supper table.
                   There is a locked window in this kitchen.  I want to jump through it
          into the crumbling pile of maple leaves, feed my gristly meat and cold potatoes

to the collie standing at the gate, disappear into the street-lit dark that is the city of
                   Detroit in autumn.  I am hungry, but at this stage of my life, I don't
          know for what.  And I can't tell anyone I think I may be crazy, like my old maid

aunt who ran out in the street naked as a jay bird one summer evening--neighboring
                   dads were smoking on the porch, children playing Kick the Can.
          My Aunt Lena danced and sang at the top of her lungs, her large torso moving

easily to an inner refrain, her pendulous breasts regulating time, feet stepping over
                   boundaries as if they were not there.  When one of the men started
          to clap, she came out of her reverie, ran back into the rooming house, locked

herself in the bathroom.  Firemen had to chop down the door to get to her.  She was
                   found standing in the tub, her back to them, hands raised, cooling
          her forehead against blue tile.  A man with a black bag disappeared inside the

house, brought her to a waiting two-tone Chevrolet.  She was looking down at her feet,
                   pink robe sashed securely around her.  I went to her funeral a year later.
          She was laid out in a tailored navy shirtdress.  I leaned into the coffin, afraid but

determined to kiss her stiff rouged face, whispered in her good ear my congratulations
                   for disturbing the stifling peace on that summer night.  Twenty years later
          people would make love in the streets, and my aunt would have been seen as just

one more aging hippie, but nobody knew that then.  In those between years, I made sure
                   I kept my nude body from being seen.  And I never danced in the streets;
          don't now except when the power goes out and time stands still on the old stove--

it's then Aunt Lena climbs through my kitchen window, cleans my proper plate, says
                   she knows what I'm hungry for, and I shove my '50s inhibitions in the
          cold oven, follow her lead down Main Street--two hotties in calloused bare feet.


an orange leaf falls in the early morning dark
floats on the lake's reflection of the moon
the marigold's yellow light bends blossoms of rain
August floats on the glimmer, a reluctant swimmer
her hair trailing behind her like sea grass
as she turns off the stars in each room


She is that unpredictable solitary meteor
entering your star-crossed solitude,
knocking you slightly off-center in night's sky-sea

She is the muse who mirrors your reflection,
pours the waters of life into an immeasurable basin,
filters the horizon through a cone of cheesecloth

She is the beautiful shepherd abducted by myth
coaxing your future with a crooked stick
along the winged horse's slippery path

She is your sister courage
pushing paralysis under a mat of star clouds,
a gymnast balancing your act on a moonbeam

She is the wild swan who hides your wanderlust
under the haze of her wingspan
rising as a woman in your deepest sleep

She wakes you with a kiss from the gods
pours the luckiest luck from a cup of rain
assures you your star will never set

assures you we are all connected by light
as the sun's light reflects off interplanetary dust
and the horizon breaks its purple egg over the bay

Chris Lord, Ann Arbor 


Ann Arbor Review |   Home    |   next  |  previous  Back to Top