January 8-14, 2024: Poetry from Lindsay Soberano Wilson and Martha Ellen Johnson

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Lindsay Soberano Wilson

Lindsay Soberano Wilson recently released her debut poetry collection Hoods of Motherhood (Prolific Pulse Press LLC, 2023), a bittersweet reflection on becoming a mother. Her chapbook, Casa de mi Corazón: A Travel Journal of Poetry and Memoir, explores how her sense of community, Canadian Jewish identity, and home was shaped by travel. Her second poetry book Breaking Up With the Cobalt Blues: Poems for Healing (Prolific Pulse Press, 2024) is forthcoming. As the founder of Put It To Rest, a mental health literary magazine, she believes in writing to put personal stories to rest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Fine Lines Literary Journal, Embrace of Dawn, Poetry 365, PoetryPause, Jewish Women of Words, Quills Erotic Canadian Poetry Magazine, Canadian Woman Studies Journal, Fresh Voices, and Poetica Magazine. She holds an MA (English Literature), a BEd from the University of Toronto, and a BA (Creative Writing) from Concordia University. Find her on Medium, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Lindsaysoberano.com

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Lindsay Soberano Wilson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Bomb Shelter

Before 1997, I’d never ever even seen a bomb shelter
let alone been inside of one
or felt the weight of that weighted door of the weighted world
somewhere out of a dystopic novel
where the paperweight talks to me.

I’d never had my purse checked
by the security at the mall
or seen a robot detonate a bomb
in the middle of the street
at an abandoned bus stop.

I’d never seen so many people run
from a single solitary standing suitcase
or heard sirens or had to evacuate a bus station
or just missed a bomb
at the Mahane Yehuda Market.

That was until
I toured, traveled, and lived
in Israel
where everyone has a bomb shelter or a safe room.

I’d never seen armed guards
roam the streets
on guard and off-duty
in uniform and out of uniform
robed in armor
so tired but on duty
and still wearing proud
fierce youthful spirits.

(But I could leave…that constant
never-ending ceaseless terrorism…
it eventually ended for me
it ceased to exist
when I touched down in Toronto
flying on by on a high in the sky
before I knew it I was home
and my home land
becomes a distant dream…)

Imagine living this new normal
days a week
as they protest
all that you protect.

The bombs are relentless–
“In your head, in your head”
like Cranberries’ “Zombie” –
because it never ends…

Would you like to live like this?

Martha Ellen Johnson

Martha Ellen Johnson is a long time resident of the Pacific Northwest coast. She has an MFA in painting and drawing from Portland State. She is retired and has had poems featured in the anthology Words Have Wings and prose in Squid on the Coast through Hoffman Center for the Arts. She lives alone and writes to process her wild life.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Martha Ellen Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Alone, lost in my delirium,
through the passages of my recovery
from traumas intentionally inflicted
and accidental;
from stealth attacks of smiling foes
and foolish choices all my own.
Though I cried out for my mother often,
only once did I call out for Dad
and it was simply to ask where he was.
It was not a cry for help;
I knew better.
But knowing he was near
may bring some comfort
even if he looked away.
I whisper to an apparition
I want to come home.
I want to come home.
Thought I do not know where that would be.

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