Jared Carter, “Sin-Eater”

Jared Carter’s Darkened Rooms of Summer was the first book selected for the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series and was published in 2014 by the University of Nebraska Press. Carter lives in Indiana.

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Then ale, a slice of bitter bread,
       and sixpence dropped
Into his hand. I will be dead
       at last, and stopped

From wandering upon the earth.
       No prayers now,
I will but naturally disperse,
       no thought for how

I am remembered, or the sins
       you bade him eat,
For fear, were I to walk again,
       we two might meet.





Ann E. Wallace, “April Storms”

Ann E. Wallace’s debut poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, was published by Main Street Rag in 2019. Recently published pieces in journals such as Wordgathering, Mom Egg Review, Snapdragon, and Riggwelter can be found on her website, AnnWallacePhD.com. She lives in Jersey City, NJ, and is on Twitter: @annwlace409.

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April Storms

These thirty days have been
without respite from storm and
cyclone, as darkness descended,
burrowed, and built a nest,

each day hatching
sadder than the one before,
quiet notes building crescendo
into a cacophony of despair

peaking three days to the end
as I neared collapse, long
after the worst had appeared
and was surpassed.

Battered into a weary mess,
I rose one last time, to feel a light
breeze spark the growth of new
skin upon my brittle frame.





Mary Callaway, “Fall Afternoon at the Arboretum” (photo manipulation)

Mary Callaway is retired from the U.S. Air Force with twenty-six years of service in the information technology field. During her career, she led organizations responsible for information technology, cybersecurity, and communications services over wide regions. She graduated from Ohio Dominican College in 1979 with degrees in math and business. She also has master’s degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the University of Dayton. Her right brain kicked in after retiring, and she now dabbles in photography and writing. In her spare time, she enjoys golf and pickleball.

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Fall Afternoon at the Arboretum

Fall Afternoon at the Arboretum

Notes about this image:

I created the final image in Photoshop Elements. It consists of a textured image (scanned sheet of scrapbook paper) placed on top of a photograph. A tool in Elements allowed me to combine the two images using the Hard Light blend. (Mary Callaway)



C. Christine Fair, two poems

C. Christine Fair, Ph.D. is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is a frequent commentator on television and radio including the CBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, Voice of America, Fox, Reuters, and NPR. She has given extensive interviews to journalists with the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Businessweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and other print media outlets.

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Baby Paul

It took years to muster the courage
To assemble the detritus of his loss
So small his mangled body could scarcely
Fill a teacup
Yet so large, dark and consuming
It swallowed me


The Gathering

Years passed since that day I saw Paul
Unviable, without a heartbeat
In a swirl of blood and tissue
Not yet human. But loved.
We collected the few things we bought for him
Carefully placed them in a box with a note
Set them out for our neighborhood sale.

Best Offer:
7 Pack Sock Box – Farm Friends, NWT
Nordstrom Baby Cotton Bodysuits 3-Pk, NWT x 2
Carter’s Printed Cotton Flannel Swaddle 4-Pk, NWT
Kate Spade Diaper Bag, NWT.
Fit Moms. Spine Uncracked.

A neighbor, with a belly stretched tight as a drum,
Glanced at me awkwardly as she rummaged
Its intimate contents
And offered thirty dollars.
Having pocketed her cash, I winced.
I sold his brittle memory
For the price of a diner breakfast.





Linda Rhinehart, “Night Travels”

Linda Rhinehart is a poet, writer, and translator who has been writing for almost three years. She first began writing when she was accidentally invited to a poetry festival and became inspired. Over the course of her life, she has lived in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. She holds an MA in translation and another MA in English literature. In her spare time she enjoys playing piano and going on short hikes.

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Night Travels

headlights splash
yellow magnets ahead
stretching into the hills in an endless diamond chain
each connected to the last yet
but for intermittent blasts of rap and howls of rage
outside is only blackness, a dark
so dark you might mistake it for a galaxy without stars
and we will never know if there is a deer there on the
invisible asphalt, blood beading from its furry throat
before us loom
gleaming red lights, not jewels these, but
reminders of ever-present, inescapable civilization
as we edge, surely but slowly,
in an unknown direction