Poetry

Poetry: Riddle

Maniola / Shutterstock
Maniola / Shutterstock 

what do you call
a skeleton
unburied, performing

a slow dance
in the wind,
limbs akimbo?

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Poetry: Picture of a Family after Cavafy

Micael Nussbaumer/Shutterstock

There’s a photo he carries for long journeys
like this one, for trips on loaded market lorries
where the passengers take their seat, perching
on top of cargo, or sitting on crude benches
inside the buses coming from Sudan with names
like “Best of Luck” or “Mr. Good Looking.”

As the road rumbles from Chad through Cameroon
to Nigeria, toward another year of medical school,
he always reaches into his inside coat pocket
and brings out the folded 4x6. Sees his brother,
with the latest jeans from the capital and a maroon
hoodie zipped half-way up, one leg placed forward
and his head tilted back—an “attitude” he’s learned
from movies and music pipelined from America.

Sees his mother, bright pink polyester swirling
around her figure, and remembers how she woke
before dawn to make him fangaso for his trip.
He sees the lines he and his brother have caused,
drawn into her face after years of worry,
fatherless years of selling produce in the market
and begging relatives for support. He sees the slight
twist of her mouth, the triumph of a mother
shining through the sorrow of leave-taking,
the promise for her child to have a better life.

Aaron Brown, author of Winnower, is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Maryland. He lives with his wife in Lanham, Md.

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July 2015
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Poem: Shadows

Lightspring / Shutterstock
Lightspring / Shutterstock

   

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Poetry: Gospel

gashgeron / Shutterstock
gashgeron / Shutterstock

     

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Poetry: Congressman Lewis Spoke About President Obama

Jason Salmon / Shutterstock
Jason Salmon / Shutterstock

    

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Poetry: & (ampersand)

My Images - Micha / Shutterstock
My Images - Micha / Shutterstock

      

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Poetry: Saving Is a Form of Worship

courtesy of Jill Krementz
courtesy of Jill Krementz

           

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Poetry: Layers

S-BELOV / Shutterstock
S-BELOV / Shutterstock

       

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Poetry: Not a Thief

Laborant / Shutterstock
Laborant / Shutterstock

They steal more than our cash who steal our money, dropped bills
slipped in a finder’s pocket, a wallet emptied of its fill;
they steal a kinder world where we look out for each other,
call to know: How did your date, or, surgery go?

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Poetry: Mary of Nazareth 2015

Ryan Rodrick Beiler
Ryan Rodrick Beiler 

 

            

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