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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: Pantoum: 144 words
By Audrey Friedman

Christmas Day, 2013

for Amandalyn
 
You said you were beating cancer’s ass, 
feigning bravery to scare off death. 

From breast to bone, lungs to brain, 
cells wear dragon spikes and iron armor. 

While you feigned bravery to scare off death, 
the thieves pushed on unseen. 

Cells wear dragon spikes and iron armor, 
determined to claim yet more real estate. 

The thieves pushed on unseen 
gnashing claws that gored your every hope, 

determined to claim more real estate. 
Your remaining days, their pirate plunder. 

Gnashing claws gored your every hope. 
Sister, no need now for a show of bravado. 

Your remaining days, their pirate plunder. 
Ice frosts the veins of leaves and yours. 

Sister, no need now for a show of bravado. 
You said you were beating cancer’s ass. 

Ice frosts the veins of leaves and yours, 
from breast to bone, from lungs to brain. 

Audrey Friedman
Issue 11, January 2022

is a retired Rhode Island Literacy teacher who now lives an artsy life in Bluffton, South Carolina. She writes poetry, paints, spins, and knits. Audrey received her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of the Fine Arts in 2005 and attended the renowned Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She served as a contributing editor of the Hunger Mountain Literary Journal for many years. Audrey now facilitates adult poetry workshops. Her work appears in journals including The Comstock Review, California Quarterly, The Griffin, and Urban Spaghetti, and in several anthologies.

 
 
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