Menopausal Pantoumlisten

Nearing Easter, purple begins to appear
everywhere. And eggs: anything remotely
round--a clay pot, a mouth-hole, a tear--
reminds her of an egg. The warm, earthy,

everywhere eggs--but she remains remote.
In the grocery store, her steel-toed boots
remind her of eggs; but instead of warm earth,
they hit hard linoleum, and she hears ghosts

in the grocery store, between steel-toed boot-
strikes, of all her unborn children. The children
hit hard linoleum, and she hears their ghosts
like menstrual flow slipping past her. She listens

to the strikes of all her unborn children:
round, like clay pots, like mouth-holes, tears,
like menstrual flow slipping past her. She listens
to nearing Easter, as purple begins to appear.

by Elizabeth Twiddy

Elizabeth Twiddy won, among other awards, the Joyce Carol Oates Award from Syracuse University in 2005. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in POOL, Two Rivers Review, Stone Canoe, The Pedestal Magazine, and other venues. Her first chapbook of poems will be released from Turtle Ink Press in July, 2008. She teaches adult poetry workshops at the Downtown Writers Center through the Syracuse YMCA, and she teaches writing and literature courses at Le Moyne College. She lives in Syracuse, New York with her partner, the composer Edward Ruchalski, who has set a number of her poems to music for choir.

Summer Ice

The ice-man entered through the kitchen door,
his sharp tongs biting hard into a chunk
of blue-green ice, then dropped it in the sink
as sawdust spilled onto the dripping floor.
He hoisted in another piece or two,
then carried them across the room to stack
them in the icebox where a dwindling block
had melted down into a milky stew.
We felt the heat buzz hard against the house
like angry insects beating to get in,
and all the fan blades whirred against the sun
while Nana wiped her forehead on her blouse.
And sometimes I would reach inside to touch
those frozen slabs of lake that came to us.

by Penny Harter

Penny Harter's sonnet is from a series-in-process, "The South Orange Sonnets." Her books include The Night Marsh (2008); Along River Road (2005); Buried in the Sky (2001); and Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth (1998). The Beastie Book, a children's alphabestiary, is forthcoming from Shenanigan Books. She has received three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Poetry Society of America; and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award (2002). She is a teaching poet for the NJSCA. For more information, please visit:

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