An apple-pie triangle slow dances in a circle of fluorescent light. The cook says it’s the last one. My sister licks ruby red lips. Says she’d do anything for that slice. Her finger traces his wife-beater bicep. We know our roles. She’s the beauty. I’m the ugly duckling. Mom says some men prefer plain but I’ve never met one. Until now. When he hands me a plate, my hands tremble. I inhale the scent of warm apple pie. My sister gives me the death stare but I don’t care. And I don’t share. Because now, I’m the swan.
—From the author’s book-in-progress, a collection of fiction (micro and
flash): The Years Go By in Single File
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.
Featured Guest: Roberta Beary on Rattlecast 133 hosted by
Tim Green, editor of Rattle poetry journal (YouTube, 28 February 2022)
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,
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)