Anne Leigh Parrish Writer

dark storm clouds

if the sky won’t have me

originally published in FEED issue 2.2

the rain makes a river of the road

rushing rivulets, eddies all aswirl

it goes where gravity takes it &

gathers in a low point, getting deeper

& wider as the storm fails

to relent

i step into the river, reluctantly at first

then gladly, for i’m ready now to

be borne away

how easy to drift downstream,

seeing the familiar yield to the new

the water makes ounces out of pounds

even hollows bones & maybe i’ll lift off soon

if the sky won’t have me, the riverbank will

or the shore, even the ocean depths

it doesn’t matter where i come to rest—

i’ll stay just until clouds gather,

rain falls again & i release myself once more


originally published in Sledgehammer Lit

we don’t know them before they rage

you think love identifies, or generosity, or

even the quality of sobs & tears when grief

holds sway


rage reveals the soul, concealed by

manners & convention, what we call social graces

abandoned for the machine gun &

confederate flag

even though the bearers smile

they seethe with hatred

the bitterness of their disenfranchisement

the loss of what . . . exactly?

free use of the n-word?

permission to slap their wives & children?

once men fought to lift people, not

to oppress them

but times have changed, or perhaps not

changed at all

ghosts of slave-owners & lynch mobs

occupy the living

think about it

soon you’ll feel rage, too