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I watch deer jet across Cumberland Avenue

through the window – give them all a name

and a reason. Willow got lost chasing a hare,

Bucky paused on the sidewalk so Grace could catch up.

The vintage sewing machine in the corner finds purpose

as a desk. The first time my feet could reach the treadle,

I pedaled aimlessly until my mom told me to stop.

On Monday, I saw one listed for $960 on eBay.

I think about trees a lot these days, wonder

about the one that was struck by lighting before

it split and fell onto our clothesline, into the neighbors yard.

I don’t know what kind of tree it was and that feels wrong.

I still smell banana bread, coffee cake, and Windex.

Fight off the trepidation with bird feeders,

listen to Shania Twain on the CD player,

and make eye contact with another doe.




So what if the backboard

of the basketball hoop in the

neighbor’s driveway is shattered,

as if the stakes don’t get higher

when you have something to prove?

They are still playing,

and after the rain

washes away the sidewalk

chalk from yesterday,

does the cardinal perched on the fence

feel more alone?

Today I will count the steps

it takes to get from Mom’s front porch

to the Civil War museum and back,

turning around only after my palm

has touched the trunk of a Sweetgum,

jagged like the blade of a saw.

Right now, at the dentist’s office,

the one next to the family diner

with the biscuits and gravy special,

a song plays on the radio that would stop

someone somewhere right in their tracks,

because it reminds them of –

Autumn’s enclosure

foreshadows shoveling snow,

and I think about everything we must do,

if we keep going and going

and going.



He plucks a lemon from the tree branch

and I think hands are proof of everything.

A caterpillar crawls off my thigh and onto his index finger

and I think hands are proof of everything.

Greedy for shoulders, sharp turns, and salvation –

we find a way to get the darkness to dance,

to make the knowing go both ways.

Salt and breath and hello.

Crushed mint and telescopes and goodbye.

I’ll keep hold of it all just in case

hands are proof of everything.

Summer won’t last any longer even if I beg but God if it could.


Maggie Fulmer is an emerging writer from Kentucky whose words can be found in Atlas + Alice, Dime Show Review, The Coil, and Ice Lolly Review. She received her BA in journalism and MA in English from Northern Kentucky University. Additionally, she serves as Co-EIC for the new literary magazine, Many Nice Donkeys. She can be found on most corners of the internet talking about boybands, books, and reality television.

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