Two Poems by Amy Small-McKinney

A Widow Opens Her Window

Crepe Myrtle leaps out from behind the fence.
Red lips. Wide open, wet from rain.

A revolt of hues refuses to turn away.
Antonyms of refuse: allow, accept, meet.

I see my new lover walking the path to my house.
Where we’ll meet, not a pristine fence. The blood

oranges inside. The wild luggage of our hearts.


By Laurel Lake

Tell me again—

The shape of the wave
is like a half-tube on top of the water
concentrating light into the shape you see.

You see at the bottom of the lake, that curvy line,
as the wave moves, the line of light
moves with it.

Oh, the lines of light, that concentration along the wave—

Look now, the lines of light no longer short
against the floor of the lake but diagonal
changing as the wind changes.

Look, now the lines have become nesting eggs—
Like us, half-moon inside half-moon.


Amy Small-McKinney’s third chapbook, One Day I Am A Field, was written during COVID and her husband’s death (Glass Lyre Press, 2022). Her second full-length book, Walking Toward Cranes, won The Kithara Book Prize (Glass Lyre, 2016). Small-McKinney has been published in numerous journals, for example, American Poetry Review, Pedestal Magazine, Baltimore Review, Connotation Press, and Comstock Review, among others. Several of her poems are also forthcoming in the December issue of Banyan Review. Most recently, she is a contributor to Anhinga Press’s new anthology Rumors, Secrets, & Lies: Poems about Pregnancy, Abortion, & Choice. Her poems have also been translated into Romanian and Korean. Her book reviews have appeared in journals, such as Prairie Schooner and Matter. Her current manuscript, still looking for a home, was a finalist with Trio House Press, White Pine Press, and Barrow Street Press. Small-McKinney was the 2011 Montgomery County (PA) Poet Laureate, judged by poet Chris Bursk. She has a degree in Clinical Neuropsychology from Drexel and an MFA in Poetry from Drew University. Small-McKinney resides in Philadelphia.

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