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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Prose Poem: 123 words
By Roberta Beary

Two Worlds

 

Let them not say my father drank but harmed no one.

In darkness I slid under my bed, trembling as his fist banged the door.

In daylight I taped over splintered wood, swept up broken glass, carried empty bottles shrouded in brown paper sacks to the bin.

:::

Let them not say my father died alone.

I pushed my chair close. Traced his brow with a wet cloth. Fed him ice chips.

Rubbed lotion on swollen toes.

In darkness I squeezed his hand.

In daylight we entered a wordless land.

:::

Let them not say my father left me nothing.

I learned the dying have their own language.

I learned to live between two worlds.

 

 

—After Jane Hirschfield’s poem “Let Them Not Say”

Roberta Beary’s
Issue 11, January 2022

second collection of short poems, Carousel, is co-winner of the Snapshot Press 2019 book award contest. Her first short-form collection, The Unworn Necklace, received a finalist book award from the Poetry Society of America. Her collection of prose poetry, Deflection (Accents Publishing, 2015), was named a National Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books.

Long-time haibun editor of Modern Haiku, Ms. Beary is also co-editor of Wishbone Moon: An Anthology of Haiku by Women (Jacar Press, 2018), and she recently judged the Sable Books Haiku Contest for Women Book Award.

Her writing has appeared in Rattle, KYSO Flash, 100 Word Story, Cultural Weekly, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and The New York Times, and is also featured in A Companion to Poetic Genre (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and Haiku In English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013).

Ms. Beary lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, Frank Stella, and tweets her photoku and micro-poetry on Twitter [at] shortpoemz.

Author’s website: https://robertabeary.com/news/

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Roberta Beary, haiku poet and editor, on writing Haibun, interview on YouTube (8 February 2021) with Mike Rehling, editor of Failed Haiku

Tiny Love Stories in The New York Times (8 January 2019); scroll five stories down the page for Roberta Beary’s “Now It’s All Fresh Fish” and her photograph of lobster traps in Clew Bay, Ireland.

The art of brevity, an interview by Ciara Moynihan in Mayo News (22 January 2019)

Lunch Break, a haibun by Beary in Rattle (#56, Summer 2017), Tribute to Poets with Mental Illness; includes audio (17 July 2017)

 
 
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