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Memory Diver Woodcut by Bridget Henry
Woodcut by Bridget Henry

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Anna Citrino

When She Sings
For Skye

The world should go silent
when she sings about the fields of gold—

her voice reaching through the room’s
crowded chatter, carrying us far away

from the shifting neon lights, the dense
and dusty streets outside—homeless

feet shuffling through.
Effortlessly as a feather
 
floating down, she brings us
into soft meadow light, and the arms

of long ago love, the sun
shining on long stemmed grass,

trembling in the innocent breeze.
She sings, and we remember

the sound of wind sighing through
trees, or the way gentleness came down

across the mound of hills in summer.
Back before we knew anything about

loneliness and the million shoeless
hearts that live on concrete streets—

before we knew about how hard it is
to find again anything that resembles home

we can hear her singing.

The Thing I Did Not Love

For years we said we should cut it down,
the scrubby white pine that a renter
planted in the middle of the field,
and make room for the fruit trees
we wanted. But we never did, and it kept
growing, the branches twisting up,
needled leaves bushing and bristling out,
until it stood two stories high, pine cones
and dead branches scattered at its feet.

But today we cut it. One by one, the limbs
come down amidst the chainsaw’s chattering
grind, cloudy oil fumes, and flying sawdust.
One by one, I carry the limbs away
and throw them onto a mound
rising from the earth like a bier.

For hours we chop the branches and chip
the wood we will use for garden mulch.
All the while the stump oozes sap, clear
and fragrant, a feast for hundreds
of ants—what I did not love offering
its river of sweetness into the arms of air.

 

What You Planted
--for Michael

Years ago you knelt
in the garden’s dark soil,
planting carrots,
 
tucking them into the earth
one by one,
telling me

“You’ve got to treat them
gently, as if they are
your babies,” then you

pulled a blanket of loam
softly over
the next seed
and tamped it down.

Tiny roots
waiting inside
reached into the earth’s
rich warmth,
                        and stretched.

Look at the garden now.


Anna Citrino

Anna Citrino received her MA from the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont, and has published in various literary magazines including, Bellowing Ark, Calyx, Earth’s Daughters, Fine Madness, Flyway, Kalliope, The International Journal of Wilderness, and Sojourners, among other journals and anthologies. A native Californian, Ms. Citrino was born in eastern San Diego County, though she has lived in various countries since 1991--Turkey, Kuwait, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and currently, New Delhi, India where she teaches humanities at the American Embassy School. A lover of scuba diving, bicycling, and travel, Ms. Citrino writes often about place, listening for the voices that arise from the location where the inner journey greets the outer journey. Each year, Ms. Citrino returns to her home in the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California where she loves being out of doors under the open, blue sky.

 

Spring 2012

Fiction
Elizabeth McKenzie
Paula Mahoney

Nonfiction
Sarah Albertson
Vinnie Hansen
Neal Hellman
Stephen Kessler

Poetry
Buzz Anderson
Anna Citrino
Arthur Streshly
Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Plays & Monologues
Wilma Marcus Chandler

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