For a dwelling so small, it was gargantuan.
That house came crashing down, crushing
my chest. Forced to gnaw and swallow
paint, I tasted chalk and lead.
My stomach burned but
I couldn’t throw up; insides already coated,
calendar pages filling until food wouldn’t fit.
Despite the odds, when the time came,
I flew. Like Icarus. Somehow, I rose,
but my wings did not melt.
I reached up blackened hands and grasped a Sun.
Image: Superposition of Fall of Icarus (René Milot) with a burnt house (mrd-stock)
Nearly unreadable now, paper wrinkled
as her hands, veins of ink blurred by tears.
But she had the words imprinted in her
mind to recall when memories surged.
She need not know that a fellow soldier
likely persuaded him, loaned him paper
to write an apology of sorts—I wish
I’d not enlisted,
yet she perceived his special gift,
a declaration of affection, the only way
he could voice it, I miss you all,
tell the children hello.
He mentioned shrapnel in his shoulder,
minor wound he claimed. She clutched
the letter to her heart, transmitted warmth
of her body, like a bird hovering her eggs,
as though, like a Holy Eucharist,
its ink might turn to blood, transform
the paper to pulsing tissue,
grow lungs and start to breathe,
become a living presence nurtured,
resting safe against her breast.
Image: A Letter from Pvt. Charles H. Austin, Civil War soldier
ADR Poetry Editor John C. Mannone chooses about 2 poems to be published each month and included in that month’s e-newsletter.
Note from John: “Thank you for considering American Diversity Report as a home for your poetry. Poetry is special to both ADR and to me. The aesthetics of this lovely venue is implicit in the name—American Diversity, which embraces a plethora of themes including, but not limited to cultural diversity, religious diversity, inclusion, equity and tikkun olam (Hebrew meaning repair of the world).“ CLICK to read more about John and his vision for ADR Poetry.
Please follow these guidelines for poetry submissions:
- TIMING: Deadline for submissions is noon on the 15th of each month (September – May).
- STYLE: Minimum of 12 lines. Do not repeat title as first line.
- LANGUAGE: Please use American English spelling, punctuation, grammar.
- BIO: No more than 100 words. No all-caps, e-mails, or underlining. Italicize titles & venues, but not publishers/presses.
- FORMAT: Send poem (up to 5 poems) and bio in one file attachment – one page each.
- SECURITY: To avoid receiving spam, do not include live links in the bio, phone numbers, or email addresses in your bio.
- LOGISTICS: Submissions must be in word.doc or word.docx format using Times New Roman size 12 font.
- SUBMIT: Attach submissions in an e-mail with the subject line ADR Poetry Submission to email@example.com
- ART WORK: Optional. You may submit art work/graphics, citing its origin, as jpg attachment. Note that the bottom quarter of your graphics may not show up on our template and please plan accordingly.
- ITEMS NOT PUBLISHED
- Profanity or hate speech
- Political endorsements
- Previously published poems
- Anonymous submissions
- Previously published poems
ADR TOPICS: For details and/or examples of our featured themes CLICK on …