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Poetry

Before My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

Nine months of darkness, then the sound of scissors and we separate. I thought I’d love you because you were part of me, feathered limb of a sumac— but it was like falling asleep. Something I did without fear of consequences. That first night, you made the house ache with your sadness. Open mouth of a baby bird, longing. But you took nothing, the thing I begged you not to take. Something I didn’t know how to give. Heather Cadenhead…
April 30, 2016
Poetry

John 8: 1-11

Like a mat they beat her out, dragged her sorry ass to the court and called for Jesus. Jesus, Jesus. He washed his hands, slipped his feet into his sandals and went out. He watched her, folded, the red dirt combing the sides of her head, blood running into the streets. Angry men clanging, He knelt beside her, his finger dragging in the soil. Her eyes opened – Then, she saw the marble throne of God, the choir of angels…
February 29, 2016
Poetry

Walking Today

Walking gets me nowhere I walk to buy groceries I walk to the coffee shop I walk to be inspired I walk and remember that it takes lungs, muscles, neuron connections, and these lovely padded feet, for my body to move from somewhere to anywhere else. Walking gets me nowhere but to myself. Grace Miguel Cipriano is a senior at Western Theological Seminary. Photo: Stefanos Papachristou/Flickr, under CC BY-NC 2.0 license.
February 29, 2016
Poetry

New Pictures

For sad people like us it helps to have pictures— or rather, new pictures to displace familiar ones. Old pictures don’t change. I once had a picture of a chicken in mid-flight. I used to laugh at it. Now it seems utterly banal compared to the picture of you tackling your sister. In it, you are goofy-gorgeous. I used to think of life as an ocean of pictures; these days I think of it as a river in linear motion.…
December 31, 2015
Poetry

Dramatis

Poor lovers, we know our parts none too well, nor our cues. We kiss in the dark, backstage, under the glow of EXIT, near stacked chairs. Music emanates from an orchestra pit out there in the lights, in the heat, and we strain to hear through velvet the arrow that points to our time to stumble out, screw up, a thousand sleepless eyes gazing, papers rustling, no applause but the rain falling in sheets across the theater roof, gurgling in…
December 31, 2015
Poetry

Transcription

Let us romanticize a monk, hunched-over, candle-lit, a sackcloth habit snuggled close to repel the winds besieging his abbey, medieval, dark, his stylus tracing pregnant sounds, presumably Latin, though perhaps Greek, Hebrew, some proto-dialect, or the heathen’s vocabulary in their stories he loves, Grendel, demonic, of the line of Cain, one tale redeemed by the one he believes which questions if Unferth, kith-killer, is beast or man. This ink stands opposite the page, black versus white, and yet our grey-cells…
October 31, 2015
Poetry

Profession

After Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, still will I trust Him,” seems a rhetorical boast, easily made, for who can comprehend this claim’s worth when even at funerals, death remains abstract? Yes, a tangible corpse lies stiff, dressed, and prone in a woodcrafter’s pride, next hoisted by dove-feigning fingers in soft cotton gloves onto broad shoulders, who then carry this cross out to the hearse, to the church, to the earth, where, seed-like, it is planted, expecting a glorious…
October 31, 2015
Poetry

Ruth Pregnant

I bask beneath this eye, sun roving our marriage bed, sheets bunched together like gathered wheat. Your side empty and cool now, already you work the fields. I take more than my portion, I turn slow as the moon in daylight hours. You, husband, have always given me more than I can carry, such weight I’ve not known (only, before, a dead husband’s hand, an old woman weeping). Even good things have weight—a harvest, a child turning his slow discoveries…
September 1, 2015
Poetry

Consumed

Ruth and Boaz Dine Grapes, sweet and cool, ornament the table. Blue-veined cheeses on wooden slats, rosemary and garlic. Bread with gold-toasted crust, a soft-melt inside. Olive oil pooling in bowls, gleaming eyes. She bites a pear, breaks the skin. She tears the bread, dips and dips again. I would like to be the bread in her hands: warm, broken for her, sustaining. Renee Emerson is the author of the poetry collection Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014). Her…
September 1, 2015