• 1

Easter Portrait, 1964 (Father to Son)

C. W. Emerson

I hold the snapshot
close to the lamp.

The print is faded, sepia-toned;
only hints of color remain.

You were three years old,
and dressed for Easter —

shorts and knee socks,
sport coat, cap.

You are handing me a crocus.
I bend to receive it.

I am your father, twenty-five,
and you, my eldest son.

Your grandmother’s garden
is glazed with light.

***

I look up
from my hospital bed,

hoping for a glimpse
of Carolina moon.

My night-sky rider,
sweet bantling boy:

how far have you come
for this vigil —

and what have I done
to deserve you so
near?

Issue 9, 2017, pg. 41

Aftermath

Patricia L. Hamilton

The silence after the storm ravages,

numbing the senses. No birds sing.

Instinct unites them in reverence

for the wreckage of limbs

where they might have been nesting,

now strewn about as carelessly

as a child’s pick-up sticks. 

No dogs bark. They cower under beds,

noses buried in their paws, still

cringing at the thunder’s treachery,

disavowing the testimony

of a clock’s soft ticking.

Only a black-and-white cat

picking its way through leafy debris

as it crosses the wet pavement
remains undeafened by the tumult’s end 

 

from Issue 7, pg. 41