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We go together
like Methodists and poker,
like bars and bad marriages.

The goodness of spouses,
black coffee and confession
are underrated.

I imagine receiving postcards
from the afterlife:
I don’t miss you but I’m waiting for you.
I’m counting the days
but I can’t tell you the number.
Your dad says hi. He’s playing softball.
I joined the choir.

Thick-ankled girls dance in cotton skirts
like cotton candy clouds,
Tilt-a-Whirl waltzes.
Dance with a Dutch girl
and your sleep will be easy.

Annie Valkema

Annie Valkema works in development at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She is a graduate of Houghton College in Houghton, NY, and has worked in alumni engagement and development at her alma mater, the University of Michigan and Hope College before joining the team at Western Sem. When not working, she workshops poetry with like-minded friends on the lakeshore and searches for joy in all situations.


  • Patty Preston says:

    Amazing again! Love the postcard from heaven and the insight about dancing with Dutch girls!

  • Jack Ridl says:

    Your poems nestle beautifully here in The Reformed Journal. Irresolvable complexity in gentle cadences and musicality of sound. I may have to pretend Julie is Dutch when next we dance.