Ann Arbor Review


Chris Lord
Joseph McNair
Karyn M. Wolven
Geoffrey Philp
Paul B. Roth
Duane Locke
Silvia Scheibli
Shutta Crum
Felino Soriano
Steve Beaulieu
Donald Hewlett
Alan Britt
Joanie Freeman
Mervyn M. Solomon
Jerry Blanton
Marilyn Churchill
Running Cub
Mukul Dahal
Alice Paris

Helen Losse
Fred Wolven


once stored for years,
now lays open on the bed.
Memories stir beneath my fingers.
I read the letters my father wrote.
He called her "Honey Chile"
and "Chickadee"
and told her how he loved her.
Gone to war, across the ocean.
He told her there, in fading ink,
how much he loved her.


They were both young
in all the photos
smiling and holding hands,
my father in his army browns,
my mother wearing hats
and red lipstick.
She pasted menus
of all the places they ate
or spent the night.
Six dollars for a room
at The Read House
in Chattanooga.
One dollar for a steak
in Chicago.
All the souvenirs,
every base he was stationed
across the country,
wherever they met.
And his letters tell her
how much he missed her
when she was not there.
how much he missed her.


I touch the pages
where she saved each souvenir,
saved each moment.
There are no letters from her,
no words
sent to the soldier
she presses against
in photographs.
Only clippings of war,
bits and pieces
of life and death
that she preserved
for his return.
But she is there
a whisper lingering
inside these yellowed memories.
Always there
inside his love.

"Sometimes there is no
                      other place to hide."

We discovered possums
living in the crawl space
above the ceiling.
The smell of a molding carcass
had forced us to open
the small trap door.

We remembered then
the times we had seen possums
wandering through the backyard,
animals we had only seen
in books and pictures;
and we watched in silence
not wanting to disturb
their journey.

Now we know the reason
for the neighbor's dog
waking us at midnight
and our cats' prowling
across the roof.
We chop down the tree
and carefully nail pieces of wood
across the shingles.

One and a half years later
the neighbor's dog still barks
in and out of the night hours,
but it is the cat
who disturbs my sleep
there on the roof
above me
playing possum
in the shadows
of her dreams.

Karyn M. Wolven,
Biscayne Park, Florida


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