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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 11: January 2022
Poem: 137 words
By Judy Kronenfeld

Brief Impromptu Meditation

I pour cream—a rare treat—into 
the steaming coffee in my clear glass cup 
and find myself watching the seconds-long 
dreamy adagio of mixture, the leisurely swim 
of darker and lighter in constantly 
changing interplay, seeming to surge 
as unhurriedly as clouds aggregate, or thin out, 
implementing mysterious algorithms, making me 
think of swirling schools of fish, or swerving 
murmurations of starlings in slow motion. 

And I want to take my life as languidly 
as these liquids eddy in the glass, 
as if I would then be in tune with rhythms 
at the heart of the universe—mine to comprehend—
unpushed, not pressuring 

But the coffee and cream 
seem not to fully blend until I stir, 
and I must drink up, get in my car, 
and onto the already clotted 


Judy Kronenfeld
Issue 11, January 2022

has four full-length collections of poetry published, including Bird Flying Through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths (2nd ed. Antrim House, 2012), winner of the Litchfield Review poetry book prize for 2007. Groaning and Singing, her fifth collection, will be published by FutureCycle in early 2022.

Her poems have appeared in Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Connotation Press, Ghost Town, New Ohio Review, One (Jacar Press), Rattle, Slant, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verdad, and other journals, and in more than three dozen anthologies. Her stories are published in The Madison Review, The North American Review, Literary Mama, and other magazines, and her creative nonfiction, in Under the Sun, Hippocampus, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, and elsewhere. She is Lecturer Emerita, Department of Creative Writing, UC Riverside, and an Associate Editor of Poemeleon.

Author’s website: http://judykronenfeld.com

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