Tag: Our Voice

Tangled Web – By Marina Gallegos

Nobody understood the unusual nature of her comments or behavior several years after she’d arrived in the new country. She’d been interacting with her relatives and working just fine.

Their Score – By Tom Squitieri

The birds again
Fly up and sit on the corner
Of the railing on the deck.
They decidedly turn their heads to their right
To look at me through the writing window
They have little patience
And ruffle their displeasure
That food has not yet been scattered for them

It is a slow morning of melding,
I tell them.
They remain stern.
The coffee still needs to dance in me,
I plead.
They glare.
They refuse to sing again
Until breakfast is served

The sunrise offers new colors
To them
Even that, an unsuccessful cajole.
Squirrels wait anxiously;
They know they get leftovers.

So, soon seeds sown.
Sunrise can exhale
Landscape tells me its message
And magic songs follow

Family First – by Jordan O’Halloran

“Babe, have you placed your bet for the wedding yet?” Tony shouts at me from the kitchen.

“What bet? You know I don’t gamble anymore. Remember Vegas last year? We lost almost  $10,000!”

“Babe, calm down. The bet is for how long Jessica and Scott are going to last. I bet 6 months. What do you think? The group text is waiting.” He says while flashing his one dimple smile. I may resent him for a lot of things. But, seeing that smile always melts my walls away.

At Home in the Wild: What I Learned as Poet-in-Residence on the Boston Harbor Islands – by Brian Sonia-Wallace

Just beyond the skyscrapers, there are wild islands in Boston Harbor. A series of “drowned drumlands,” they are peaks formed by glaciers during the last ice age and are now sunk in the Atlantic. Today they are a dazzling archipelago of blackberry thickets and quaint New England cottages, with the Boston skyline looming on the horizon during sunset. Shortly before the pandemic, I served for two weeks as the islands’ Poet-in-Residence.

Stitched Up – By Tom Squitieri

It is a sunrise in the middle of the night, an aberration of moments, the jarring of history and hope, of that seismic shift in life. The full force of the universe from the past, reminding of the day and the moment. That path is one that can no longer be followed. On March 5, 1993, it happened. The dodging that had been so successful in so many war zones faltered.

Congratulations, You’ve Won a Pandemic! By Ondine Kuraoka

“Congratulations, you’ve won—” Rainie turned off the car radio and sat in her driveway. A fresh splatter of bird poop decorated the corner of the dusty windshield. A siren howled in the distance. Maybe working from home would be less stressful anyway. She was about to open the car door but leaned back against the soft, moon-grey upholstery, cocooning a moment before whatever came next.

Following the Yellow-Signed Roads – By Lauren Oertel

I spent many Saturday mornings of my childhood yard sale hunting with my mom. After I finished my bowl of cereal, we’d hop into her car and drive around the neighborhood, following the trail of cardboard signs.

There were a few ways we’d evaluate each one before deciding to commit. As our car crawled in the street in front of them, we’d scan for how many other cars were there, how many people were browsing the selection, and if anything jumped out as especially exciting. It was mostly clothing we were looking for. The good stuff.

My Immigrant Story – By Martina Robles Gallegos

I was born and raised in a small, rural town in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico. I emigrated to the United States just short of my fifteenth birthday, right after graduating from elementary school. I was the sixth of nine children, and there are three siblings younger than me, but my mom chose me to go with her to El Norte. I was surprised or shocked that she’d choose me instead of any of my three younger brothers.

What We Leave Behind – by Brian Sonia-Wallace

Burnt out from two years of pandemic Zooms and losing my housing, year after year, I started to paint again for the first time since I was a teenager. Acrylics. Bodies. Landscapes. Whatever was in front of me as my world shrunk and I struggled not to shrink with it.

My space over these years had become a doomsday bunker, as I, the millennial hermit crab, danced between sublets. I lugged around B-horror movie paintings I’d inherited from a mentor when I had a whole house to fill with art, shedding a few at a time as I crammed myself into increasingly smaller rooms. Rents kept rising. It was just over a year after my dad’s death and I was digging out who I was from the wreckage.

Betrayal and Resurrection

You look in the mirror, and you can almost see the spot. Somewhere floating between your heart and your gut. That is where betrayal lodges once you realize the rug had been pulled out from under you, the wool was pulled over your eyes, the sap was you.

Evie & Will: a meet-cute

Evie Macomber watched as a big rig truck, then a massive, articulated tractor, and a few cars passed, going either north or south on Main Street. A girl born and raised on the edge of town in a single-wide mobile home, Evie seldom ventured far from home by herself, never farther than her school.


The interplay of land and fog,

Multiple micro-systems

Display dissimilar versions of vapor.

In places it floats, or rolls, billows or mists.

Energy captured and released in slow motion,

Vaporous kaleidoscope of muted winter colors:

Tan, brown, beige and grey.

Fog descends, deep penetrating cold,

Infiltrates my lungs, clings to clothes.

Drive Soda Bay Road for snapshots

Of a cotton-covered lake,

Panoramic Mt. Konocti framed by fog,

Wild nature sound of coots muted

As they disappear in a wet cloud.

Fog fades, a lone kayaker materializes from the mist,

Fog filters, sifts the past into the present,

Nature’s timeline.

Time Has Come: Revelations of a Mississippi Hippie

Some of you experts on new directions in Black music might be familiar with Betty Davis, née Mabry, the second wife of trumpet icon Miles Davis. Regarded largely as the Queen of Funk, Ms. Davis enjoyed a brilliant, genre-defying, standard-setting career and blew out her own flame, seemingly prematurely.

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