an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century

Winter 2023-2024

Barbara Novack


We thought the road was paved
a smooth ride now
after the mud and ruts,
and masks miraculously disappeared
from shelves and faces
and we pondered our stockpile
as possible coffee filters
and then
life’s but:
the variants came
huge potholes
the kind filled with water
that you don’t see
until your car hits it
and you feel the jolt
through the shell that’s supposed
to protect you
through your bones that are supposed
to support you
through your ligaments, muscles and skin
and in your heart,
all the parts that feel
that were just beginning
to heal
and in your numbed mind too
and the masks reappeared
and you sighed
as your bones rattled
over potholes.

Barbara Novack is Writer-in-Residence and member of the English Department at Molloy University. On campus, she founded and hosts Poetry Events reading series, and off campus she conducts highly regarded writing workshops and presents varied programs on writing. Her most recent book is Heart Like Leaves (2022), a memoir in poetry of love, loss and consolation.