Thrift Shop – by Joan McNerney

 

I descend clutching a
teetering banister to the
bowels of this holy place.

A sign welcomes me to
St. Mary’s Basement Boutique
where scent of unloved
clothing assaults me.

I finger grubby blouses
and skirts hanging limp
week after week unwanted.

Where is it? Hidden beneath
mounds of faded tee shirts?
Where is that swag I will
brag on for months?

At last I uncover something
beyond belief….a mohair sweater
snow white with pastel flowers.
A good fit, my prayer answered.

Retired ladies glance up.
They are volunteers filling
another empty afternoon.

The cashier consults her price list.
“One dollar” she says as I reply with
quick “thanks” fleeing blissfully.

When I get home, my bonanza
is baptized in cool water and suds
now reborn lustrous and all mine.

 

 

 

 

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary zines such as Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Halcyon Days and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane Press and Poppy Road Review anthologies. She has been nominated four times for Best of the Net. 

Tuesday – by Sarah Satterlee

 

I boil spaghetti in my tee-shirts
alone, gather my socks like it matters,
make phone until someone answers and then
clear my throat. I paint my fingernails, check
the expiration dates in the pantry, toss
what’s stale, brush sticky dye onto my faded
hair, run the shower, shampoo and rinse
until the water runs almost-clear. I drink
gin because it’s there. I lay still inside
my batch of dreams until I wake, my bed sheets
ruffled, a worn cocoon cold under my hands,
my pillow stained; a black continent,
a spilled bouquet of wild orchids.

 

 

 

Sarah Satterlee is a graduate of Rhode Island College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Amaryllis, and The Jawline Review among others. She lives in Rhode Island with her daughter.

After a hot, dry day – by Pleasant Street

 

What is that smell called? – I asked –
rain on dirty asphalt –
the steam rising with a scent
pronounced and like no other.
We ran to the shops, pelted
with raindrops the size of buckshot.
‘Petrichor’, he said
and I shook my head –
No, that is the rain on the dirt.
This is the smell of soldiers going to war
and their mothers’ heartbreak.
‘Why’, he asked, ‘do you have to do that?’
What? I eyed the shop shelves – and my list.
‘Make me feel this ache?’
He paused, pound of bacon in his hand
in my peripheral.
I didn’t start the war – I said
picking up a can of coffee, and
putting it into our cart.

 

 

 

Pleasant Street is a mother, baker, and poet. She has been writing poetry since fourth grade. Now she is writing a series of neo-noir thrillers and a collection of short stories. She thinks too hard and feels too deeply, and appears to be stuck in 1948. She is still dreaming up a way to use baked goods as legal tender.

Don Juan O’Donnell – by Susan Kelly

 

He slides a bottle along the bar,
its neck sliced with a wedge
that sharpens the taste that dulls his perception.
Its wet tracks dampen her mood
as he falls on top of her
and her elbow soaks up his guff
and the gush of beer splatters the silk
that invites him.
He’s loaded at midnight,
spent by three.

Cold chips litter the floor
and quieten his step as he creeps behind her;
he flings food into his mouth
and makes scratchy noises with the straw in his plastic pint of Coke.
He lunges to dot her blouse and blot his chance
as the silk sticks to her back.
Outside he holds up the wall of the take away,
sometimes letting it slip away.
Smouldering ash
flakes onto his curry-encrusted chin,
giving him the look of being cut.

She appears in her beered and curried blouse,
her face full of disdain over the latest stain.
She disappears as the wall rejects him
in a sudden loss of footing.
Don Juan O’Donnell stumbles from the dying neon,
suspended in a stupor
in a parallel universe near home,
between a rock and a ditch
on the Leenaune road.

 

 

 

 

Susan Kelly is from Mayo. Her work has appeared in Cyphers, Crannóg, Revival, Abridged, The London Magazine, Boyne Berries, The Stoney Thursday Book, Burning Bush 2, wordlegs.com. Short-listed for Writing Spirit Award 2010, featured reader at Over the Edge in Galway 2011, shortlisted for Over the Edge New Writer of the Year 2013 and longlisted for WOW award 2014.

Independent Means – by Deborah Love

 

Despite my independent heart
Fabulous friends
Friction free family
And
Ever present wet nose of my furry familiar

Sometimes
What I need
Is an uncompromising lover
To wake with me in the dawn light
And tell me today will be just fine.

 

 

 

 

Deborah Love exists in blissful anonymity and is only occasionally interesting.

More of Deborah’s writing can be found at Occasion of Interest

Instead – by Colette Colfer

 

I’ve no grave to visit,
wreaths to weave
or epitaph to write.

Instead of a tombstone,
the headboard
of another woman’s bed.

 

 

 

 

Colette Colfer lectures in World Religions in Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. She is an award winning radio-documentary maker and spent many years working as a journalist. She is working on her first collection of poetry. 

The Rumblings of a Woman’s Tired Mind – by Maggie Mackay

 

                              Today began with a run to hold deadlines at bay,
stuttering, jolting, a trip on gravel,
a dog’s extendable lead tangled around her ankles,
                              in the borderlines of a park shooting
                promise of the coming spring birch, horse chestnut, lime,
a heavy breath of morning’s shiver, mosaic puddles of dishwater rain.
                              the dog owner deserting her, his only words were how unfortunate

She’d cancelled treats, that weekend at Mike’s,
               a day cut from a skiing week for a shock funeral,
gone, those evenings of gossip and bubbles,
the fizz fizzing, his heart burst like hers
                poked, picked to death by rumblings

spun under skies squeezing sandstone tenements walls, and diners spilling
                from pre-theatre eating,
                                the click clack of stiletto heels over cracked paving stones,
               cashmere coat brush against graffiti-splashed lampposts.

She stumbled up between muddled joggers,
counting steps against the joint ache
                                like a prodigal journeying towards a refuge,
               imagining her breath consumed by wood fire or the stench of hyena kill,
                                 the sweat of unwashed bodies on the Hill Road,
              mouthing prayers.

                                 She took sanctuary behind her shuttered sash windows,
              humming melodies, pushing through ankles,
                                            wrestling late winter-grey bare
                                                                                                       silhouettes.
                                                                         The year stacked
                                                                                        at a lilt on the ones before.

 

 

 

Maggie Mackay is enjoying life as a final year Masters Creative Writing student at Manchester Metropolitan University where she is currently working on her poetry portfolio. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet, Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, ProleIndigo Dreams Publishing and in several Three Drops Press anthologies.