Paul Van Peenen
The author lives in Eugene Oregon and has had work published in Seattle Review, Foliate Oak and Setting Forth.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Paul Van Peenen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Sadie, sick with lung cancer, sneaking a smoke
In the doorway of the laundry room—
She looks away, ashamed, pretends
She doesn’t see us.
It hardly matters now, her fate all but sealed.
Still, I remember the cantankerous
Old lady in To Kill A Mockingbird
Who, determined to beat a morphine addiction
Before she dies, does.
It is a small victory, one for the good guys.
Later, we return from a trip out of town
To the news that Sadie has died
From a fall in the Bi-Mart parking lot.
Apparently, she had a cigarette in her mouth.
Product of an abusive household, Lee survived. Much of her poetry examines the effect on her life. Finalist in four poetry contests she workshopped with Sharon Olds, Billy Collins, Kristina Marie Darling, Tom Lux, Dara Weir and Jude Nutter. Lee’s life started in Raleigh and quickly went northeast to New Jersey, where she honed her craft. For the past four years Lee has developed and managed a network of Poets on Linkedin.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Lee Landau and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Roberto & the Snow Globe
–after Margaret Atwood
This world you took
away with you
so small, a snow globe fit
in your callused hand.
a visible-blue sky,
from the weight of it.
Here trees crawl like spiders
to catch the wind.
Not unlike this snow globe,
where you, in white relief, survive.
Substance, more like your
outcropping of rock, this
hardening ghost echo.
Snow shapes you with
no vocabulary left to dance
around danger as once
my tongue left flakes. Soon,
only snow will be visible,
our love shaken apart.
Man in the Mirror
His laughter spews outward in chortles
when hearing my jokes.
Slowly, the corners of his mouth tilt
upward, full lips closed. With eyes
wide open, that mouth, stamped with a
smile, then blows mightily into a handkerchief.
A prominent Adam’s apple genders him,
shape of eyebrows—see, even the wry eyes, above
and fleshy cheekbones, not quite jowls, stare
back at me, out from the mirror.