Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi



Pushing through sumac
in winter
reminds me how little
I know about belonging,
my boots clumsy, snapping
branches, leaving snow
turned and scarred.

As the sun dips, night is
a hawk taking wing, tail
feathers bathed in twilight.
Drawing shadows in like a cape,
the cold
wings up the valley.
With each new step I am
startled by my loneliness.


Colonel Banjo the auctioneer
sets up a table of glassware:
green depression, portrait bowls,
hand painted chocolate pitchers,
a Limoges hair receiver;
and then along the hedgerow, he lines
end tables, a marble topped dresser,
slag floor lamps, a mahogany hall tree.
Next to the basement steps squats
a bushel basket of deer antlers,
a stoneware crock of crocus bulbs,
a broken Nu Grape clock, hand tools, milk jugs,
the headlights of a Bel Air,

a cardboard box for the mortician
who collects windup toys,
one for Rose from the junk shop
who buys chipped McCoy,
another for the florist who sells buttons
and postcards on eBay.  They bid
for connection to what has passed.
Mr. Garrison, the biology teacher,
sprays chigger repellent on his ankles
before walking the high grass
to the barn.  He shoulders
a flat of faded photographs,
small ghosts smiling through sepia.
Draped over the stock fence,
Colonel Banjo displays
the toe-holed quilt the family
wrapped Terry the schnauzer in
the night he died of heart worm.



Once while jogging down 87th street
I came upon a ground hog that had been
Cornered by a bobcat.  At least that
Was my perspective.  At first I was concerned
And took it upon myself to intervene
Much like I was breaking up a fight
In the lunchroom.  I stepped between them
And forced the groundhog to look me
In the eyes.  Assuming that being the smaller
Of the two, he would be inclined
To listen to reason.  When I flung my arms
In the air in a shooing motion, he stood
On his hind legs and uttered
A chit chit chit, a stuttered attack
Upon my philanthropic nature, I was
Indignant at his reproach,
So I turned to the bobcat, and shooed him
With equal fervor.  He slouched
Just out of sight beyond the catalpas
And skulked in a primeval pose.
Two days later, I was driving to the HyVee
And the ground hog was standing
Just off the curb in the street, chittering
At an eighteen wheeler, a school bus
And then a cement mixer.
I jerked the steering wheel
Of my Ford Ranger and swerved in a feint
To run him down.
The ground hop stood on his toes
And barred his teeth.  In the rear view mirror,
He raised his stubby arm
And flipped me off with his nasty little paw.


Al Ortolani, Lenexa, Kansas



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