Issue 15.3 – Poetry

Issue 15 - Poetry (2)


Hardwood floor, stained, edges charred black

years of praying, of playing, of crying


Cobwebs in the windows, roaches on the walls, mice commuting

between rooms, remnants of their travels cover our feet


Wild cats commune in the backyard, meowing at the moon,

stray dogs lurk nearby, growling, hungry for dinner


The kitchen is quiet except for the steady hum of the refrigerator,

loaded with government cheese, hard as a brick, giving us belly aches


as we stand in the bathroom, staring at a dirty tub and dingy toilet,

mom was too tired to clean today


A spider captures a fly in its web home, an old lamp shade,

the fly’s struggles are futile, but it still struggles, so do we


My lap is a desk as I write a story, a narrative of poverty

my young mind seeking meaning, it’s elusive


Books surround my body as the TV blares in my brother’s room

our mother sings hymns from a church we no longer attend


I am the center of their universe and they are the center of mine

we revolve around each other like planets around a sun

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Shirley Jones-Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms.Luke lives and works in Boston, Mass.  She has an MA from UMass Boston and an MFA from Emerson College. Her work mixes the genres of nonfiction and poetry.  Shirley’s poems have been published in Adanna, BlazeVOX, Deluge and Willawaw.  She has attended conferences and workshops such as The Muse & The Marketplace, Colgate University Writer’s Week, Huston/Wright Writer’s Workshop and The Watering Hole. Shirley will be a new participant at VONA in June 2018.

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