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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 93 words
By Cynthia Anderson

Inheritance

 
The glance of recognition, 
the courtship dance, 
the touch that pulls 
someone in—

how much passes down 
from generation 
to generation? 

If we could watch 
our parents in the act, 
would it be like 
watching ourselves—

inherited gestures 
leading to the same 
thoughtless orgasm?

One could argue 
there’s no shame in how 
desire fulfills itself, 
no psychic cost—

but there’s that
stray photo 
in the family album,

my father’s first wife,
never mentioned, 
confident in black 
and white, staring at us 

who came after—
daring us to imagine 
why she’s still there. 

Cynthia Anderson
Issue 23 (April 2024)

A California resident for more than 40 years, Cynthia Anderson is the author of 13 poetry collections, most recently The Far Mountain (The Wise Owl Publications, 2024), Arrival (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, 2023), and Full Circle (Cholla Needles Press, 2022). Her poems appear frequently in journals and anthologies, and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens (Green Poet Press).

Author’s website: www.cynthiaandersonpoet.com

 
 
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