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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Micro-Fiction: 185 words
By Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Elegy: Class Trip

 

My dad was the sole man on class trips once a year. It might have been court-ordered. The mothers and teachers loved him. He was tall and handsome, with a smile that ate up his face. He sat in the center of the bus making up stories. I hadn’t heard any of them before. Our sixth-grade trip was to Lansing to meet our congressman, Gerald Ford. My dad already knew him from Republican politics. I could see during the tour of the rotunda my dad had become a celebrity. We kids were pretty much on our own at lunch in the congressional cafeteria as the women sought him out for conversation. Our last stop was Michigan State’s Experimental Farms. Our guide brought out a cow with a screw-top lid in her side that could be opened to examine her digestion. The guide opened it, reached in, brought out a handful of yuck and squeezed it. Our principal, Mrs. Ecklof, fainted into my father’s arms. All those women thought he had the kind of arms they wanted to fall into. He did not.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske’s
Issue 1, January 2020

first full-length book of poetry, Dominant Hand, is available from Mayapple Press, and she is co-author with artist Mary Hatch of Art Speaks: Paintings and Poetry (Kazoo Books, 2018). Other books by Kerlikowske include The Shape of Dad (a memoir in prose poems), Last Hula (winner of the 2013 Standing Rock Chapbook Competition), and Chain of Lakes.

She has been publishing her poetry and fiction for more than 20 years in such journals and magazines as Encore, Cincinnati Review, Passager, and Poemeleon, among others. Her work is anthologized in Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (White Pine Press, 2016), The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015), and the Michigan writers anthology published by Western Michigan University (WMU). She also creates visual art and has recently completed the Hester Prynne Chair, first of a series of literary women chairs.

Kerlikowske completed her doctorate in English at WMU in 2007. An arts activist, she has served for many years as the president of the Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry, and she is also president of the Poetry Society of Michigan. She recently retired from a teaching career at Kellogg Community College.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Featured Artists Mary Hatch and Elizabeth Kerlikowske in KYSO Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018); includes half a dozen of Kerlikowske’s ekphrastic prose poems and micro-fictions inspired by Hatch’s paintings

Three in Prose by Kerlikowske in DIAGRAM (Issue 5.1): “Forty Winks,” “The Girls’ Room,” and “Midway”

 
 
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