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


when I was six, I already knew about your sickness
the blue pills in a crumpled envelope
the white horses that pranced across your room
in the red brick hospital on Washington Street

I already knew living with a grandmother
the pungent smell of bleach on the kitchen floor
the lemon drops hidden in a mason jar inside the cupboard
& the clothes she purchased in rummage sales
for a week or two each year
I cried for you inside my pillow
where no one looked for tears

only once I saw you bloated & disfigured
through the rusty bars of that first floor window
your voice slipping away into the peeling wallpaper
it was enough

in July of  '69 your room was back in a corner
where the nurses locked up the nightmares
& shadows & tattered bedspreads
you no longer babbled about horses
or your misplaced child
I hold this memory
& the need rain has to end

the street is empty now, save this building
condemned with shadows & the smell of old dreams
I look at the spaces where the windows once were
& I remember your face

I bake cookies
because you never did


I spend the afternoon alone.
A cat nestles herself in my lap
pretending to sleep
as I stretch out
into the fading sun bleached hours
listening to the silence
of clouds & grass.

I have forgotten
to breath the shadows.
I have grown old, barren,
filled my spaces
with too much light.

I hear my footsteps
crossing the room
into the dust of evening,
into the words I have forgotten
were mine.
I close my eyes & pretend sleep
like the cat who has only
one dream.

Tomorrow I will plant again,
plunge my hands
into black, wet soil
and drop seeds
into the dark womb
of birth.

For now,
I will remember the smell
of raspberries & rain.

Karyn M. Wolven, Miami


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