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I Have Never
by Athena Kildegaard

on a line from Amy Leach’s “Things That Are”

I have never made a flower,
never have I pressed myself
through dirt, me as root,
as roots, many-tendrilled,
never have I been root,
nor have I pressed myself up
through air, straight and diligent,
nor have I sent out from myself,
from my core, an upward thrust,
tender shoot and shoot
that burst into leaves, never
have I been stem nor leaf,
never have I made a blossom, heady
color as of zinnia, tender leaf
as of gardenia, fur as of geranium,
I have never made a flower, having
no root, no stem, no leaves,
though I can imagine the standing
still, though these are words,
though this is enough, these words
I offer to you, you who have
perhaps made a flower.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Athena Kildegaard is the author of four books of poems and a fifth is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in March 2018. Her poems have been set to song, read by Garrison Keillor, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and stamped into pottery. She lives and teaches in Morris, MN.

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My Past Life as a Puritan
by Elizabeth Knapp

According to Wikipedia, I was possessed by the devil from late 1671 to early 1672, a 16-year-old servant in the house of a certain Samuel Willard, a prominent preacher in the town of Groton, Massachusetts, who recorded my possession using a methodical scientific approach highly unusual for the time. Willard, who became my “Gate Keeper,” detailed every moment of my 10-week sojourn with Satan, and later became active in the Salem Witch Trials, which he argued should be conducted in a “fair and legal way.” No one knows what happened to me after his journals end. (Some reports claim I turn up centuries later on a lark.)

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

elizabeth knapp Elizabeth Knapp is the author of The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, The Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Quarterly West, among others. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, where she lives with her family.

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Out of Season
by Joannie Stangeland

When I did not move to the country,
I let my lawn meadow,
fevered season like sweat

prickling, trickling down temples
to weeds I could not name,
and pastured on the sofa,

thought back—my first husband,
a hydrangea by the steps
ripped out. Season of temper,

the mercury rising.
What did not survive, and who.
Season of loss

(a small plot of annuals
at the cemetery
until plantings were banned).

Dead head what’s done,
my mother said, to keep up,
but I leave these lace-cap

blooms to dry the winter,
their skeletal filigree
one way to feel age,

another: sore elbow, trick knee,
tight back—how to flower still?
Season of rest

and then the roses—
the wildly green rambling
over dead cane and thorns,

each year harder, drawing blood.
Season of neglect
and one ladybug.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Joannie StangelandJoannie Stangeland’s most recent book is Into the Rumored Spring from Ravenna Press. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, and her poems have appeared in Superstition Review, Tulane Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals and anthologies. Joannie helps edit The Smoking Poet and Cascadia Review.

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