Category Archives: CPR Volume 21, Issue 4

Point of View
by Marjorie Maddox

What is it that you don’t see
about omniscience, can’t wrap
your sight around? Sure, the point
of point of view is murky on days
where everyone wears blinders,
or seems to, epiphany not for the faint of heart;
still, there’s hope for the narrator who holds
the heavens up and the ground down,
shuffles past and present so easily. “Why
didn’t you,” my daughter once asked, “do something?”
when the something she wanted done
was undone already and out of sight/
mind, out of family, done not by or for
not-even-a-footnote me who no longer
writes stories for others—outsider-that-I-am
to my own life. But here is a pen for you
and you and you, the black ink
dark and indelible. Make me
believe in the need for revision
to re-see our lives. Start
with this blank page turned
at an angle. With my limited
omniscience, I beg you,


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Marjorie Maddox, credit Thad MeckleyMarjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry, the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite), four children’s books, and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies.

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Christmas Eve
by Emily Kerlin

It was the third verse, just as our mouths fixed triumphant. Our eyes moved from the brown hymnal to heaven as he prepared his second liftoff from the choir loft. This time he pinged his ultrasonic notes to the wooden altar. The woman of the cloth ducked. We sang on with trepidation to Bethlehem as he took flight again. Swooping like a small leathery kite. Hands covered heads, gasps. Even the air felt frantic. Windows were opened.The nave turned cold. Glory in the highest trailed as he winged his panicked body fast into the pipes of a 1912 George Kilgan & Son. It rang out loudly for the Lord, and we promised to adore Him before all went quiet. A woman rose to close the window. A little girl in a red satin dress stood in the aisle, head tipped back, eyes wide.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Emily KerlinEmily Kerlin studied Creative Writing at Antioch College. She has been teaching the difference between “chicken” and “kitchen” to English Language Learners in public schools for the last 10 years. She lives in Urbana, Illinois with her husband, four teenagers and a geriatric brown dog.

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The Animals in My Name
by Sara Backer

The bear, my big self, lumbers
into hibernation, relishing the fit
of a grass-padded den and winter dreams.
I’m feared for my teeth,
but I’m the one who runs away,
happy to climb any tree that will hold me.

The crab is my small self.
No heart, no soul.
All claws and crust, ambition, critique.
I scuttle and pinch. I crack. I’m cracked.

If I release my middle name into the mix,
I find a barnacle never letting go of the past,
a bee keen on variety, a stoic camel,
comatose clam. Eel and elk, seal and snake,
lamb and mare and yak—what do they want?

I watch my bear and crab crawl the night sky:
rectangular dippers, an upside-down Y.
They are outside and within me,
my nemeses, my guides,
my water, my earth.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.

Sara BackerSara Backer’s first book of poetry, Such Luck (Flowstone Press 2019) follows two poetry chapbooks: “Scavenger Hunt” (dancing girl press) and “Bicycle Lotus” (Left Fork), which won the Turtle Island Poetry Prize. Her writing has been honored with residency fellowships from the Norton Island and Djerassi programs and with eight Pushcart nominations. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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