Because it is Spring in Appalachia by Bonnie Proudfoot

Because it is Spring in Appalachia

and the rain has stopped pummeling
the solar panels on my roof,
I begin noticing things,
the rush of green outside hits me
like a fanfare, the sun
sparkles in every droplet,
and then I realize
the applause I thought I heard
was not applause at all,
it was a pair of small birds
pecking away at the inside
of my walls because they decided
that their new nesting place
could be that little hole
in the space between the eaves.
And there it is, the outside world
has come home to roost. And me,
I couldn’t pull the trigger of the 22
on the groundhog in the blueberries,
I try to save the planet,
not just for me, alone, but so I
can share it, but not my house,
I think, yet that is
what is happening now
and here I am,
still hoping to return
to Aaron Copeland in my mind,
but the wide world has other ideas,
like a new station on the dial,
these little syncopated taps,
call on me to act or be acted upon,
and isn’t that what I secretly wanted
from this ragged, unfinished life?

*

Bonnie Proudfoot has had fiction and poetry published in the Gettysburg Review, Kestrel, Quarter After Eight, the New Ohio Review, and many other journals. Her first novel, Goshen Road, published by Ohio University’s Swallow Press (2020) was selected by the Women’s National Book Association for one of its Great Group Reads for 2020. It was Long-listed for the 2021 PEN/ Hemingway Award for debut fiction, and in 2022 it won the WCONA Book of the Year Award. Her poetry chapbook, Household Gods, is forthcoming on Sheila-Na-Gig this summer. She lives in Athens, Ohio, and in her spare time she creates glass art and plays blues harmonica.

Periwinkle blue, a spring night’s by M.J. Iuppa

Periwinkle blue, a spring night’s

slow awakening— a steady drag &
           lift through depths of iciness

hearing the shrill whine of a lone
           tractor spraying the orchard’s

shadows before daylight & bees’ due
           diligence, only the cab’s lantern

casting a line of sight for the lonesome
           farmer who steadies the wheel

of this hour, moving forward, willing
           to carry his father’s obsessiveness

as if it were his own.

*

M.J. Iuppa’s forthcoming fifth full length poetry collection The Weight of Air from Kelsay Books and a chapbook of 24 100-word stories, Rock. Paper. Scissors. from Foothills Publishing, in 2022. For the past 33 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Check out her blog: mjiuppa.blogspot.com for her musings on writing, sustainability & life’s stew.

Two poems by Carla Sarett

They Made Wars

We drank sweet Turkish coffee
and talked long into the night
of mothers who lost children in cities,
who locked them out of houses in thick rain,
who foresaw snow on a warm spring day,
how snow fell after their words.

By dawn, we forgot which stories
we had told and which we had forgotten
in the eagerness of our first revelations.

By starlight, we whispered our terrors:
Giant mothers outgrew houses.
They made wars without anyone noticing.

We never mentioned fathers.
Those pale and harried men.

*

no one says it

Deirdre’s sending
love w/ exclamation points
love! love! love!
John texts it (love)
no point wanting
a love letter she knows
that’s not the #love
they’re sending
& that song
love love love
all you need is
not the #love
she needs

*

Carla Sarett’s recent poem appear or are forthcoming in Blue Unicorn, The Virginia Normal, San Pedro River Review, The Remington Review, Sylvia, Words and Whispers and elsewhere. Her novella, The Looking Glass, will be published in October (Propertius); and A Closet Feminist, a full-length novel, will appear in 2022 (Unsolicited Press.) Carla lives in San Francisco.