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Featured Poems


Sixty-seven species nest on the Bear River refuge:
American avocets, black-necked stilts

by the thousands spike dikes and roads
we wind on our way back

to the hotel, wilted from dry heat, wetlands,
imagine bird calls heard/

unheard from across a wilderness of seen/
unseen migrations, droughts—

a land of shrinking lakes to which they all return,
nestlings and the species left

alone to fend against the wildfires
of a burning age. Though we missed the tundra

swans this trip, a small regret,
we tell ourselves our mothers did their jobs

for here we are, a nested pair,
flown decades married through the motions

of layovers, stops and starts, our settled life
to which we turn and turn again,

despite imprinted restlessness, free-falling
as the great Salt Lake evaporates.

— in Sugar House Review
Summer 2023

If the Fragment is the Story

then the letter Arnold sent my mother in the ’80s
was nothing more, nothing less than his script

on letterhead, reminding her of their bond
as classmates at Miami High, where once

is always, everyone heeds each other, melting
in time, and along those lines, he has friends in high places–

a certain Senator if you want to know–
who’d be happy to help her find work

if she needs it, before, in closing, Arnold says
whenever he thinks of girls from back then,

it is she who comes to mind
as the sweetest—one he has never forgotten—

but there is no blatant invitation, never does he say
he’s married, ask if she’s happy or how many children

and when I look for traces of him
elsewhere in her hope chest, he is nowhere

in her yearbooks; not a single note from him
appears alongside other scrawled goodbyes, good lucks

nor is he listed with the smiling others
in the photo of the kindergarten play,

no clipped obituary, or evidence of her reply
but on the jagged edge of a leaf torn from an album,

I imagine Arnold there professed his love
before a jealous ex wiped clean my mother’s memory

for suitors, her nostalgia for pure desire—
left Arnold unfulfilled and buried in the cedar

with our baby clothes, in the margins,
holding secrets we were never meant to know.

— Finalist, River Heron Review Prize, Summer 2022

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