February, 2021 — by Donna Hilbert

February, 2021

In a fit of hope, I wash and press white shirts
hidden in the hamper since last March.
I order lipstick, and a see-through make-up bag
with hooks to hang on any random perch.

*

Donna Hilbert’s latest book is Gravity: New & Selected Poems, Tebot Bach, 2018. She is a monthly contributing writer to the on-line journal, Verse-Virtual. She is eager to resume leading in-person workshops and hugging her friends. Learn more at http://www.donnahilbert.com

Absence by Ed Ahern

Absence

In this time of needed absence
when distant words are thin soup
and images cannot be grasped,
we offer the lack of ourselves
as a protective prayer for those
we love too much to touch,
and hope that our denial
of those we hold most close
keeps us intact and caring
for a later day.

*

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.

Ahern on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/EdAhern73/?ref=bookmarks
https://www.instagram.com/edwardahern1860/

From the back porch of a war by James Feichthaler

From the back porch of a war

I wish I could be like this dandelion —
patient, awaiting rains. Thousands are dying,
and we’ve been told to stay inside our homes
to keep the numbers down. The squirrels aren’t buying
such lousy edicts, rummaging through our garden
for anything to stuff between their gums.
They don’t have bills past due or rent to pay,
patients to tend to, politicians’ lies
to aggravate their fears in these dark times;
oblivious to the shortage of supplies
in hospitals, to a panic that only comes
when having too much (as a luxury)
infects the brain. Here, on this warm March day,
their hoarding means new life is on the way.

*

James Feichthaler is a poet and essayist whose work has most recently appeared in Sortes, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Martin Lake Journal, and the Mad Poets Society’s Local Lyrics series. His new book The Rise of the COVFEFE, a poetical satire of these divided and uncertain times, was recently published by Parnilis Media. He is also the host of an open mic reading in Manayunk, PA called The Dead Bards of Philadelphia.