Lynette G. Esposito – 1 poem 

The Widow

 

Sheryl slipped out of bed at 11 pm,

donned her five-year old pink robe,

 headed to the kitchen.

 She pulled the last piece of wedding cake

from the freezer; sat at the table.

At midnight,

she took a bite; felt his ghostly fingers lift her fork.



 

🍃

 

Lynette G. Esposito lives with her husband, Attilio, in Southern, NJ.  She is an animal rights advocate

and is allowed to take care of her five cats when they are in the mood.

 

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Milton P. Ehrlich – 1 poem 

A BUTTERFLY WITH HELICOPTER WINGS

 

She landed in my life in a veiled reverie

with the blood of betrayal etched in her bones.

It was more than she could bare.

 

A casualty of a failed romance,

she hovered overhead in suspended animation.

She couldn’t say yes, and couldn’t say go.

 

I absorbed her hurt like a poultice

soaking up an accidental spill.

I stemmed the flow of blood

and nursed a festering wound

with the warm milk of adoration.

 

I delivered in rain sleet and snow,

with an embrace of infinite kisses

that will last beyond the realm of time.

 

There was no precipice too high

to climb, no sea too dank and dark

to explore, to show how much I cared.

 

Hibiscus nectar seeped out of her skin.

Her flame of aliveness will keep dancing

like a Dervish until our galaxy implodes.

 

Her touch spoke of a love

that eluded the quagmire

of her mind.

 

I loved her more than she will ever know.

I regret not having been more fun.

 

 

🍃

 

Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D is an 85 year-old psychologist. A Korean War veteran, he has  published numerous poems in periodicals such as “Bombay Review,”  “Descant,” “Wisconsin Review,” “Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow,” “Toronto Quarterly Review,” “Off The Coast,” “Christian Science Monitor,” “Huffington Post,” and the “New York Times.”

Patricia Hamilton – 2 poems 

The Day Everything Changed

 

 

The English Professor Reminisces

 

 

 

In

 

the fifth

 

grade I longed

 

to become a writer.

 

 

 

But

 

now I

 

see my fate

 

was sealed the day

 

 

 

Mr. Cheney was called

 

away from class.

 

He handed

 

me

 

 

 

our reading group’s text

 

and told me

 

to carry

 

on.

 

 

 

🍃

 

Coffeehouse Elegy

 

 

 

The chair you sat in

 

belongs to no one

 

and everyone,

 

comfortably angled

 

toward its companion,

 

brown leather wheezing

 

hello and goodbye

 

as patrons perch

 

to sip their coffee,

 

then flit away into their day.

 

Yet now that you’re gone

 

that chair is yours, bearing

 

the weight of your absence

 

for the flock of nameless regulars

 

that swarm in each morning,

 

nod to one another,

 

then settle in to work or read.

 

Even a migratory customer

 

like the man with the backpack

 

who snored softly in the other chair

 

for two weeks last summer–

 

who can say where he flew off to?–

 

would, were he to alight again,

 

sense the empty shape

 

of your presence,

 

would recall you filling in

 

your crossword, absorbed,

 

or quietly studying your Bible,

 

looking up with a charmed smile

 

if someone you knew

 

stopped to greet you.

 

Mornings are chillier now,

 

but the golden autumn light

 

still pours through the window

 

and pools in your empty chair

 

as if waiting

 

for your return.

 

🍃

 


A California native, Patricia Hamilton lives and works in Jackson, TN.  Things that make her happy include travel, dark chocolate, and jazz.  She won the 2015 Rash Award in Poetry.  Her first volume of poetry, The Distance to Nightfall, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing.

Ken Allan Dronsfield – 1 poem 

Where


I seek some remembrance today;

staring at that gaudy wallpaper

hung with care in our bedroom.

I wonder if you’re finally at peace;

days roll slow, thoughts come and go

in this lonely, cathartic lifetime.

This abysmal and debilitating age;

can a serene existence be found

or must I survive with this queasy,

innocuous ameliorate daily?

Feel a boisterous folly during days

as spring’s cascading rain brings

childish recollections of happiness.

Come visit me in a soft whisper;

dancing with me rocking slowly

as a coolish hazy misty loving spirit.

Meet me at the old frog pond where

our chairs sit empty in stoic repose as

the sun rises above the trees to the east.

Hence, I’ll take one more breath this day,

and you…..you are….where?



 

🍃

 

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who has been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken’s new book, “The Cellaring”, a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from Amazon.com.

Sheri Gabbert – 3 poems 

Invisible

 

Pinpoint of yellow covers a blemish,

eyelash primer boosts 3-D mascara

on blended color eyes. Blazing Lava

highlights smiling lips.

 

Three outfits later, I stand at the mirror,

reflect on each strand of hair

and reasons to be nervous, afraid

of being fat and old and ugly in your eyes.

 

Five years ago I dated a married man

with the knowledge and consent of his wife.

An offense no one has forgiven,

better to have cheated than to have been

polyamorous in their minds.

 

Nine years after the divorce, I still dress

for you, not for praise or sex appeal

but to avoid judgement. Caring what you think

a habit after twenty-three years, something

to remind myself I once loved  you.

 

Arriving at a party too early to make an entrance,

too late to be first, I speak to one of the two

people who still like me and wait for your arrival

wondering what your new wife is wearing,

aware she loved you without my knowledge

or consent.

 

I force them to say something, one disapproval

at a time, waiting, waiting, waiting …

did I use too much hairspray, too much makeup,

too much, too much, too much and yet

you never come and I spend most of the evening

 

sitting alone, trying to look relevant and contrite.

 

🍃

 

Flotsam in the Kitchen Sink

 

He works, his sons work, his wife walked out.

The boys sleep on sagging floors with protruding nails,

he sleeps on a sofa with cushions that gave up a lifetime ago.

 

Dreams gurgle from reeking brown water.

Daybreak brings an afflictive sun, spilling over the sides

of the blackened kitchen sink, another day of not enough.

 

Plunge, pump, push – he forces through crowds,

part of something larger than eight to five and mortgages

on paper thin walls and crumbled stairs.

 

He lives within the lines. His boys stay within borders

that protect them from stray bullets and bullying gangs

of other boys who also sleep on floors but hide

in chemical dreams, float above the underbelly in reprieve.



 

🍃

 

Déjà Vu

 

I would tell you I love you,

if I were the sort to mutter sentimentalities

or to make yesterday’s lover feel guilty.

 

Instead, I’m going to tell you your new girlfriend

is a cunt. I’ve never used that word

in precisely that way but I’ve always wanted to.

 

It fits, even if I don’t really understand

why that’s the worst thing we can think of to call

the women who replace us or why we call

ex-boyfriends cocksuckers. 

 

When we’re in love, cunt and cock sucking

are terrific words packed with possibilities.

 

And what the fuck?  What do you mean

you don’t feel the same?  As when? Yesterday?

 

We never know what happened,

those of us who are left when lovers

love someone new or maybe one we always knew

but never imagined would be the one?

 

And there’s always “a one.” Relationships

never last. Somebody will leave somebody

one way or another, but it doesn’t make it

any easier to know that, specially this evening

after dinner and a movie, when you said We need to talk

and your eyes finished the sentence.


 

🍃

 

Sheri Gabbert is a substitute teacher living in the Missouri Ozarks with her miniature schnauzer, Rilke. Her work has been published in Moon City Review (2011/2017), new graffiti, The Quotable, Rat’s Ass Review (Love & Ensuing Madness and Such an Ugly Time, issue and anthology), Communicator’s League, Drunk Monkeys, Serving House Journal, 417Magazine, Street Buzz, and The Lawrence County Record.