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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 96 words
By Dianna Mackinnon Henning

Fold your tears into peace signs.

When your neighbor is the enemy 
and night pulls its sharpened knife, 

a word does what a word must. 
It summons its bloodhounds. 

Wheat fields turn barren. 
An old woman pours seeds 

into a soldier’s jacket pocket. 
When he’s later shot down 

sunflowers will blossom his gravesite. 
(Beauty’s reprieve in all the mayhem.) 

Soot smudges the streets, 
and neither the notations of loss, nor 

the uncompromising hand of empty promises 
will assuage the survivors. War’s a thug 

who sucks his thumb in back seats 
of limousines and gorges on caviar. 


Dianna Mackinnon Henning
Issue 14, August 2022

taught through CPITS, received several CAC grants, and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program, including Folsom Prison. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College (Montpelier, 1989) and is a six-time Pushcart nominee. Her publications include, in part: MacQueen’s Quinterly; Artemis Journal; The Adirondack Review; Memoir Magazine; The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester; Pacific Poetry; and New American Writing. Her fourth poetry book, Camaraderie of the Marvelous, was published by Kelsay Books in 2021.

Author’s website: https://diannahenning.com/

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