Ann Arbor Review: International Journal of Poetry

Issue Number 7
Winter 2009-10

Ann Arbor Review

Southeastern Florida                                                                                                                  Ann Arbor Review


Shutta Crum
Paul B. Roth
Laszlo Slomovits
Duane Locke
Felino Soriano
Chris Lord
Jerry Blanton
Carmen Firan
Amelia Makinano
Connie Stadler
Fred Wolven
Duane Locke
Tolu Ogunlesi
Running Cub
Joanie Freeman
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Holly Day
Dike Okoro
Fred Wolven

Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2010 Fred Wolven
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / South Florida


Fred Wolven, editor

Submissions via e-mail:


(for Mom, 2008)

It is the leaving season--
So why shouldn't the rains assail us,
borne as they are in gathering clouds
above our stubbled and forgotten fields?

Why shouldn't crook-backed trees stagger
under the weight of tears pumped
into the pale blue veins of leaves?

Why shouldn't the river flood
disgorging bleached logs, clots of grass,
and the unrecognizable canker?

Why shouldn't geese assemble and grumble
as they knead the mothering marsh one last time;
or the hoary woodchuck sigh as he slips into sleep?

We are all simple tenants here
and will each leave in our own way--
perhaps, behind in what is owed.

Still, we grasp your hands against your going.
We beg you to stay.
Do not leave us in this leaving season.

     (for Dad, 2008)

December is leafless--
and the ridges south of the river reveal scars.
The snow resting on their flanks is dry and airy.
It slips off bony-shouldered outcroppings
like a thin hospital gown.

We are following the rail lines south.
The rail lines follow the river.
The river follows the curve of mountains.
The mountains follow corded veins of coal.

We drive into the coming night
toward a patch of earth on a mountainside.
We are following our father home.

Lights flicker on in the coalfields.
Along the railroad track cracked coal,
as sharp as a man's dying, awaits loading.

I trace these mountains against my heart.
They are old and crook-backed,
and as knotted with sorrow as my father's hands.
I push my knuckles hard into my chest.
This night is saturated with sound--
the rasp of breathing, the faded hospital gown rising,
and then the breath falling...and falling away.

Shutta Crum
, Ann Arbor

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