A View From the Ridge

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By Stevieslaw

It is a time of gathering.
Summer spent
with little gain,
we pick among the skeletal vines—
stuffing cheeks
with amulets to ward off
the weariness of winter.

There is a turning here.
Another year
discarded like a faded friendship
I fear the time approaches
when I would willingly sell my soul
for one more day
of wholeness—
to breathe the autumn in with joy.
and witness the harvest
with these two eyes.

      
Steve Deutsch’s work has recently appeared or is upcoming in Thimble Magazine, The Muddy River Poetry Review, Ghost City Review, Borfski Press, Streetlight Press, Gravel, Literary Heist, Nixes Mate Review, Third Wednesday, Misfit Magazine, Word Fountain, Eclectica Magazine, and The Ekphrastic Review. In 2017, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His Chapbook, Perhaps You Can, will be published next year by Kelsay Press.

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A Pit In My Stomach

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By Carolyn Black

If today I die
A fig tree may grow
From a pit in my stomach
To mark my grave
In years to come
The compost of my body
Feed the seed
The warm sun tempt the sprout
To rise upwards
Roots securely wrapped
Around my ribs
Providing the seedling
With calcium
Making it grow tall and strong
The fruits from my body
Will live on
In perpetuity

Waiting

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By Charlotte O’Farrell

Ted was quite used to being the town joke, but since his alien sighting it had been unbearable.

If only he’d taken his camera that night. That’s a mistake he wouldn’t make again.

Every night since, he’d walked the three mile journey and perched on that same hill overlooking the town, waiting for those glowing green beings to return. He didn’t sleep and only returned at dawn, when it was clear that tonight wouldn’t be the lucky night.

Tonight was the anniversary. Surely they’d come.

The oppressively indifferent vastness of space stared back at him, silent as death.

The Last Word

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By John L. Malone

You always want the last word.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror, question yourself?
You like things open and shut. In neat little packages.
Even when we can’t see you, we hear you.
I’ll give you this. You go about your work quietly, not like your loud, foot-stomping cousins,
But you could loosen up, give others a go.
I know in some countries you go by a different name,
But a rose by any other name is still a rose
And a full stop by any other term is still a full stop.

Disappearing is Harder Than You’d Think

Enjoy another Sunday archive selection.

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By Anonymous

First, you must shed the detritus of your life. The car will be the last worldly belonging to go: donate it. Toss your phone in the river. Photo albums, love letters, diaries: burn them. Cash out your bank account, stuff the cash into your couch cushions. Drag the couch to the curb, put a FREE sign on it. Flush the pills. Tie your wedding ring to a helium balloon, wait for a gust, and let go. Don’t watch. Swallow the hurt.

Now, walk away and don’t stop until you’re gone.

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Winter Warfare

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By James Formosa

I pinched the cigarette filter between my fingers and held the burning embers inward. They taught me to do that for two reasons. First: the tiny flame heats up your palm a little. Second: the enemy can’t see the light from the trenches.

We’d been digging now for three days. Three days of shovels and pickaxes denting and cracking into frozen clay. The trenches filled up with ground water as fast as we dug them.

The glowing cherry in my hand dies, and the last bit of warmth leaves me with it.

In this new darkness, rain began to fall.