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Issue 12: March 2022
Micro Fiction: 137 words
By Elizabeth Kerlikowske

The Pilot


My aunt and uncle’s house fell into the Big Lake. It looked like it would happen for years and when we were ten, when they weren’t home, it did. The sidewalk through lilacs led to a cliff’s edge where the front door should be. We stared down at the smashed piano. Sixty years later, with my cousin’s death, that memory is mine alone. Unstable, the land sits empty just off Blue Star Highway. I can visit the front step from the previous century, all that’s left. Take my chalk. Draw a heart. Leave a copy of The Little Golden Book I used to read wrong to drive him crazy. The last nut has fallen from the branch. No one to inherit his acre of air above the beach. What a great view of the sky.

Elizabeth Kerlikowske
Issue 12, March 2022

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 also 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); two of the annual KYSO Flash anthologies, Accidents of Light (2018) and Earth Hymn (2019); and in the Michigan writers anthology published by Western Michigan University (WMU).

Kerlikowske completed her doctorate in English at WMU in 2007. She also creates visual art and has recently completed the Hester Prynne Chair, first of a series of literary women chairs. Formerly an arts activist, she was president of the Poetry Society of Michigan, and she served for 30 years as president of the Kalamazoo Friends of Poetry. She’s retired from a teaching career at Kellogg Community College.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

If my grandfather walked toward me with two arms, I wouldn’t recognize him, micro-CNF by Kerlikowske in MacQ-11 (January 2022)

Into the Oak, prose poem by Kerlikowske in MacQ-9 (August 2021)

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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