an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

WINTER 2022-23

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Wendy Barker


The road by our house torn up, chasms
we navigate. And the rift in our country:

Left versus Right, vitriolic daggers thrust
against anyone taking an opposing view

of Covid vaccinations, or, God forbid,
abortion. What is the line between life

and no life? And what’s a life anyway
these days, with Putin’s minions blasting

hospitals, schools throughout Ukraine,
three thousand dead so far, not counting

spaniels and kittens, eagles and swallows.
I know Yeats’ Crazy Jane insisted

that “Nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent,” but I’m not so

sure, ever since the emergency midnight
surgery on my twisted insides—half

my colon ripped out—has left me
with a gash, chasm in my own belly.

WENDY BARKER’s seventh collection of poems is Gloss (Saint Julian Press, 2020.) Her sixth collection, One Blackbird at a Time (BkMk Press, 2015), won the John Ciardi Prize. She has also published five chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2013. She teaches at UT San Antonio.