Tag Archives: Illinois

albert degenova | thanksgiving poem

Young buck drags             his hindquarters – eyes wild for escape –             across the unlit road. The car ahead             had swerved, pulled         off the road our friends out of their car             shaking, pacing, Oh Jeez! Oh Jeez! in a field, behind             the struggling, the useless legs. Call the police. An accident.    Flashlight.    A shot. Heaving steamy breath. Second shot. To the head.    Silence.             Policeman pulls the carcass to the gravel shoulder.             Highway crew’s morning pick-up. Again the moonlight, white             frost, empty fields. Farther up the highway, a country tavern, our friend’s son, bartender and chef, serves us whiskey, no ice, no flourish – his friends go             for the carcass, the precious meat cannot be left             to spoil. Out back the buck is dressed. The tenderloin removed and fried with onions and carrots. A white plate is passed along the bar for sharing, thinly-sliced dark-colored venison, one communal fork. The plate             reaches us, we hesitate a moment. The taste is wild, it tastes             like running.
Albert DeGenova is a poet, writer, editor and publisher. He is the author of four books of poetry, and for the past 30-plus years has worked as a journalist, public relations practitioner, copywriter and marketing communications professional. From 1978 to 1980, he was an editor of the Oyez Review, published by Roosevelt University. In June of 2000 he launched the literary/arts journal, After Hours, for which he continues as publisher and editor. Albert holds an MFA in writing and is an adjunct professor at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. He is also a blues saxophonist and one-time contributing editor to Down Beat magazine. http://albertdegenova.outlawpoetry.com http://www.afterhourspress.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/aldegenova

marian o’brien paul | legacy of apple trees

You know how it feels when you’ve eaten almost all the apple? The sweet flesh gnawed down to the core, thumb on blossom end, forefinger on the stem, not enough apple left for a good mouthful? Years ago, spring flooded our backyard with apple blossom scent so sweet it jerked me sideways when I walked out the front door, pulled me over the porch rail to look at the pink, bee-filled cloud. All summer long we siblings waited while green apples swelled, watched for the first faint blush on apple skin kissed by hot sun, climbed up tree limbs, stretched out arms to reach the fattest fruit. We never suffered apple gripe from eating apples still too green. Adept at finding the best fruit, not even worms warned us off; we’d seen our mother excise bad apple parts and we knew how. The yard is empty now: trees, like years, gone and children old. Where small feet once bared the ground, the grass grows thick. The legacy of apple trees: soil enriched by autumn windfalls. Memory is strong. I still smell apple blossoms on spring wind; taste a just-fallen apple’s sweet-tart juice, the bruise sun-warm; wish the core held a mouthful yet between forefinger and thumb.
Participant in the Poetry as Contemplation and Proclamation Seminar Fall, 2012, Marian O'Brien Paul taught literature and writing for more than 25 years. In April 2013, her poem “Cahokia Mounds, Illinois” appeared in The Midwest Prairie Review (Univ. of Wisconsin). Others of her poems can be found in the “Poetic Asides” column, Writer’s Digest (Feb. 2011) and in The Stony Thursday Book (Tipperary, Ireland, 2010), as well as in various journals, e-zines, and magazines over the years. Her blog: http://nativemissourian.wordpress.com/.