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"Her Name is Grace" & "Ready, Now" by Karen Grose

Her Name is Grace 

She sits on top of a mountain, crosses

her legs and

bounces a free foot in the air, 

fields are barren in the valley

below, skin cracked and broken

pot-bellied kids wail, a ferociousness

not even a mother can stem. 

She blows hot air to the heavens,

tossing the clouds

drags painted fingernails across the

scorched earth, gauging it like a


Fat drops fall from the sky

torrents of rain, rivers flow down the mountain, filling the

cracks and crevices.

She bangs her cymbals, cries through the night

   and when

dawn breaks,

the sun’s blushing rays bounce off newborn ponds and lakes,

streams meander, smiling at the running

   children, their laughter

separating and connecting life,

mercy to the earth yet again. 

Ready, now 

It’s Friday night, late   

I boot up a DVD, so last century

the screen flickers, a flash, memories caught in time

me, draped in white silk, toes squished into Jimmy Cho’s. 

You, that smile, a penguin, hands reaching out to mine.

To love and cherish forever.

When did the trouble begin? 

Not during takeoff, the airport, a honeymoon of 

white sand and whispered promises. 

Our first apartment? 

New jobs, my dream of promotion, never satisfied 

crusty dishes and dirty laundry left unattended

no space for feelings better off held inside. 

The bigger place, then? We gave it our best shot

back porch sunsets, fancy drinks, birds wheeling overhead, 

ice cream at the kitchen table, a sugar explosion

Was that us? 

Me? The laughter?

I sniff, turn down the volume 

Maybe another version of myself. 

I slipped the ring off my finger in the driveway seconds after you left

but I’ve worn it ever since

lost in a fog, all work, in search of more success, burnt out

it hurts, my faults, money big and real, drunk in emptiness. 

I pick up the phone

stumble, apologize

fresher, a newer me

hoping time can give us another chance. 

Karen is a writer from Ontario, Canada, who splits her time living in the solitude of Buckhorn and bustling downtown Toronto. She has three published poems by Roi Faineant Press, one by Paddler Press, and one mystery novel, The Dime Box. A new writer with an insatiable curiosity to learn, she can be found on social at T: @kgrose2 or


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