Issue 29 | Spring 2022


They rose almost in the dark,
went barefoot through the wet grass
to gather windfalls before the birds arrived;

the baby, in her smocked dress,
swayed down the path, a finger fluttering
in each of her mother’s hands.

My aunt will not remember
this moment, the last
in her ninety-five years

when she buzzed from fruit
to honeycomb, in the orchard
of her parents’ joy.

They weren’t afraid of the scythe
they saw in the morning sky.
What was there to fear?

The dark was only a web
of leafy branches, bowed down,
heavy and sweet, but beyond

the orchard, swollen
as her belly,
the creek roared, near flood.

Filed under: Poetry

Kelly Rowe’s full-length manuscript, Rise Above the River, won the 2021 Able Muse Book Award, and will be published in 2022. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Child Bed Fever, (forthcoming, Seven Kitchens Press) and Flying South on the Back of a Dove, (Texas Review Press, January, 2019). She lives in Flagstaff Arizona and works as a volunteer attorney, representing undocumented women.