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Summer 2013: Poetry

The Ticking Shirt

My mother never met a horse she liked,
never a soft touch to ear or blow
in the nose kind of like. She didn’t mind
having her picture taken next to a horse
if a strong man held the reins.

She wore her blue-and-white striped
shirt with pearl-snap buttons
as a foil and twin to my father’s cowboy.
She smiled for a photo, a demure lift of lip
switched on, down pat for a sorority
beauty queen.

He led his kids’ light cavalry
through Rocky Mountain streams
while she rested at the dude ranch,
painting cherry nails,
sunbathing in coconut oil until four,
meeting her dusty family
at the barn, pretender westerner.

After sixty years, the shirt’s cuffs are frayed,
grime at the seams, around the collar.
I’ve used it for half that time gardening,
the pearly-white snaps clicking me in.

Once a time bomb in my closet, a reminder
it’s my mother’s subtle frowns
beyond the camera lens. I was no pretender,
the horse-crazy girl loving every horse
I ever smelled or touched.

After all these years, I accept that shirt fits me
as it once fit her, snug at the breast,
firm at the wrist, dirtier with the years
I saved it. Tick. Tick.

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Poetry Thumbnail Art   Prose Thumbnail Art   Artwork Thumbnail Art   Young Voices Thumbnail Art   Contributors Thumbnail Art

Rich, strong, poignant, humorous and inspiring. We’ve caught twenty never-before-published poems by sixteen unique voices.


Seven talented women search for themselves in their bodies, their family, themselves.


Established dynamos and aspiring voices add colorful visions to our third issue.

Young Voices

Language leaps off the page in the poetry and prose of five young authors who delight in sensory detail.


Meet the authors and artists who make this Summer 2013 edition a rich, varied and engaging experience.

Table of Contents Button


        Abandoned Church by Tanya Jarvik

        Commencement by Kelly Running

        Depoe Bay by Wendy Thompson

        Directive by Cristina White

        Hawk Moth by Wendy Thompson

        How to Recycle Love Letters by Jennifer Dorner

        I Swapped a '74 Mustang for This by Jennifer Fulford

        Polaroid of My Mother by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        Lover, Molester, and Maidens (Haibun) by Margaret Chula

        Savory by Pat Phillips West

        Seascape by Marjorie Power

        Suspended by Grace Kuhns

        The Hand-Off by Pattie Palmer-Baker

        The Ride by Linda Ferguson

        The Ticking Shirt by Tricia Knoll

        Three Facts about Sperm by Ursula Whitcher

        Three True Stories by Penelope Scambly Schott

        Today at the Library by Pat Phillips West

        Trapped Birds by Grace Kuhns

        You, who will be alive and reading after I'm gone by Penelope Scambly Schott


        After the World Ends by Kait Heacock

        Something Permanent by Ashley-Renée Cribbins

        Your Hand at Your Throat by Karen Guth

        Black Sharpie by Anne Gudger

        Diagnosis by Helen Sinoradzki

        For He's a Jolly Good Fellow by Laura Stanfill

        Breathing Underwater by Valerie Wagner


        Unity by Anne John

        Rearguard by Anne John

        Speculation by Anne John

        Wire by Jocelyn White

        Taitian Trio by Nani Chesire

        Catch Your Breath by Nani Chesire


        We Will Read to You by Rebecca Cleveland-Stout

        Strawberry Party by Natalie Lerner

        A Young Night by Clara Beaumont

        Beach Wanderer by Isabella Waldron

        Light and Dark by Colette Au