By Gail Martin
Featured Art: Cicadas by Scott Brooks and Wendy Minor Viny
Real life was finally about to begin.
Remember the romance of the silver cigarette case
in college? The integrity of your firstborn’s eyelashes?
We discarded alternate destinies like tired cards
in the Flinch deck. We were only looking forward.
Of course, like the teeth of beavers and horses, there
are parts of the past that never stop growing.
Garage – tree house – vacant lot kinds of cruelty–
how we took turns being mean.
And later, some serrated evenings, dinners
of bluster and recoil, dodge. Flowers sent
or not sent to someone’s funeral.
Mostly there are the years you watch
your neighbors’ cars slide in and out of their garage.
Between blue herons and tumors, you change
We were all surprised to find ourselves old
but really the signs were everywhere, and we
acknowledge we’d been told. Name one
important thing that has not already happened.
Gail Martin’s book Begin Empty-Handed won the Perugia Press Poetry prize in 2013 and was winner of the Housatonic Book Award for Poetry in 2014. The Hourglass Heart (New Issues Prose and Poetry), was published in 2003. She works as a psychotherapist in Kalamazoo, MI. Recent work can be seen on Blackbird, Juxtaprose, and Willow Springs. Her third collection, Disappearing Queen, won the Two Sylvias Wilder Prize and will be published in 2021.