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Poetry Pg  4
One Year Since The End of It
    by Rachael Z. Ikins
She cleaned the shelf next to
the bathroom sink today. 
Found his dusty shaving brush,
mug with a round of never-used soap
behind the vitamin oil.
She ruffled the old-fashioned boar-bristle
brush through her fingertips. Grudgingly,
she sniffed the scent of soap (remembered his neck.)
One Saturday,  20 years ago he had stopped
at her apartment between emergency room calls.
By the hand, she’d led him to the bathroom.
Opened the medicine cabinet so he could see
the brand new mug, cream and razor she  bought to surprise him.
To reassure him, “There is a place for you here.”
“Last time I used that type of shaving stuff,
 I was a prisoner in a German POW
camp.” He muttered, one elbow resting in the other hand,
 fingers over his mouth. “They had straight razors and strops.”
 She thought she had made a terrible mistake.  But later,
 they sat side-by side on her shabby pea-green couch. He wept..
“I did not know you were serious about loving me”
 he said, “until  I saw the shaving gear.”
So he said…
*   *   *   *   *
As  afternoon sunlight.
descends toward dark, she spreads  thick
newspapers on the counter.
She lays out one rusty blade..
Another beside it. .
Soap to scrub memory clean of the walk on the canal
when her twins slipped silently red from between her legs.
He rode ahead on his bicycle.
She wraps each piece as carefully as an infant.
From a kitchen cupboard,
she removes a waste basket.
Lifts off its layers-- egg shells,
catfood can-lids,  an empty box that
once contained migraine pills.
Sets her treasure in the bottom
As if it were a baby’s body.
Replaces the archeology to cover it.
She sits in a corner chair surrounded by dogs
to begin peeling wild apples for applesauce.
She rubs her wrist against her forehead.
Smells faintest hint of soap.
She does not cry.
Bio: Rachael Z. Ikins was born and raised in NY ‘s Fingerlakes region. She published her first poem at age 14 under the guidance of a talented English teacher. As an adult she has been published in numerous journals over the years and has won 8 poetry prizes among them first place National League of American Penwomen 2006 and 08. Her first chapbook “Slide-show in the Woods” (Foothills)  was published August 08.  Second chapbook “Transplanted” to be published in 2010 Finishing Line Press.



The Whole Story

       by  Bruce Whealton

Our love is now like an epic novel,

thousands of pages in length,
with most pages torn
others burned in the fire.

I tried to save what I could
believing it was worth saving
believing nothing dies
but in the end,
what do I have,
just scraps of the book...

page after page
chapter after chapter
lie scattered around a room
in a forgotten home
in a forgotten place,
like dark shadows
under a hazy, smoky sky.

Page after page,
written with a purpose
written with love.

Sure there are chapters
that don't seem to belong,
that go against the overall theme
but they are part of the story,
good or bad.

This was a story to be told
for generations to come.
This was something worth holding
and protecting.
This was always a story of love
when you look at the story
as a whole
even with its darkest chapters
and the suffering therein.

Looking back,
at the whole novel
and not just a chapter here
or there, taken
out of context,
you see that theme
so clearly.

So much of the story is unwritten...
I thought it would be read by children and students
in years to come.
Yet all that remains are fragments
of what would have been an epic novel.
It was always love
and will always be.


Bio: Bruce is currently the publisher and co-editor of Word Salad Poetry
Magazine, at: 
http://WordSaladPoetryMagazine.com .Bruce has been published in Gravity Hill, by St. Andrews Press, as well as Simple Vows, a publication by folks such as Ron Bayes of St. Andrews.  He has also appeared in online publications such as Venus Rising,  Aphelion: the Webzine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Horror Zine, Childe Bryde, the thin edge of staring, lunatic chameleon, and lines written with a razor.  Bruce has combined his interest in technical matters with his creativity  as expressed in efforts such as this poetry magazine, his own poetry,  and as a Web Developer and Web Designer.  Bruce Whealton is the owner of
Future Wave Designs a successful web development, web design and  consulting company in Carrboro, North Carolina, near Chapel Hill, NC in the Triangle Area of North Carolina - the Research Triangle area.


In the Kitchen

  by Samantha Le


she weeps

peeling back layers
of a purple onion

but it isn’t the onion
that makes her

it’s the earthly fragrance
of newly oranged
terra cotta urns gathering
cobwebs in the yard

their walls chipped
brittle as fiery crab legs                      

their emptiness
hollow as conches.


Bio: Born in Vietnam, Samantha Lê immigrated to the United States in 1983. She is currently working on her MFA at San Jose State University. Some of Lê’s publications include: My Solitude, a collection of spoken poetry; Corridors, a collection of poetry and short stories; and Little Sister Left Behind, a fictional memoir. Currently working on The Mythology of Love, a collection of poetry, Lê resides in San Jose, California.