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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Prose Poem: 204 words
By Merridawn Duckler

On Summer


All year we wait for it. No one knows exactly when it is supposed to arrive. We consult our calendars daily like Tolstoy and his wife reading their dairies to each other each morning. Have we missed anything? When we were children freedom blew through our fingers out the car window, a bright dust already gathered on brooks. Now we guess the direction of wind, dependent on the earth’s turning. It doesn’t help we understand movement makes the sun. Those of us who are not children look out over the fields become green. The gold-stalks sway, the insects lulled into silence. Music coming from a distant field, made for us. All the towering trees in fruition. The creek springs into an army, heavy with glinting armor. The water crackles. It is so light. What day is this? we ask. Numbers turn over and have no answer. Under the arms of August, which is a figure eight asleep on its side, trees deep search for cool dives. The burning red flag on the mailbox erupts, too hot to touch. The clouds are passing. The sky brought an answer but we dozed through. Sunlight forever. Or for one day and then it is over.

Merridawn Duckler
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a writer and visual artist from Oregon, and the author of Interstate (dancing girl press, chapbook series), Idiom: The Oregon Poems (Harbor Review, 2019), Misspent Youth (rinky dink press), and Arrangement (flash fiction forthcoming from Southernmost Books in Summer, 2024). Recent work appears in Massachusetts Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, and Western Humanities Review.

Awards include the Beulah Rose poetry prize from Smartish Pace; first-place winner of the Invisible City 2021 Flash CNF Contest, judged by Heather Christle; the Elizabeth Sloane Tyler Memorial Award from Woven Tale Press, judged by Ann Beattie; and winner of the Arts and Letters Drama Prize (Georgia College). An assistant editor at Narrative, Ms. Duckler also serves on the Editorial Board of the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.

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