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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: 87 words
By Dianna Mackinnon Henning

My Heart’s Not a Casual Affair,

never a skip roping feign, 
nor does it invite curious spectators 

to chant those jumping songs 
we memorized as children. No, 

my heart seeks peace in a world gone 
awry; nineteen school children 

and two teachers killed in Texas, 
war in Ukraine, a madman’s 

dream. What to do with loss? 
Especially loss of belief. 

There once were lilacs growing 
outside my window here in 

California. This year they were 
rusty bags, little starvelings. 

Do they know the future 
strangles the unsuspecting? 


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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