Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 162 words
By Shaun R. Pankoski


White as a lie and spiraling 
like dervishes on the woody stems 

of a bush, fully formed and flowering, from a cutting 
carried in wet newspaper on a flight from Oahu. 

Brought to this island from his grandmother’s yard 
in a five-gallon bucket that held his roofing tools. 

The Hawaiian grandma who finally ran 
after being dangled from the balcony by her hair. 

Left her six kids and ran. Ran to another 
and made seven more. Didn’t smoke, drink, or swear 

but took many a workingman’s paycheck and sometimes 
the deeds to their houses in midnight card games. 

She planted all her children in these homes, 
her penance for abandonment when they were babies. 

It did not absolve her. 
None of them were there with her when she died. 

But I tend to this plant in my yard now 
like a mother tends to the only child she’ll ever have, 

snip cuttings to root, to pot, to make more beautiful lies. 

Shaun R. Pankoski
Issue 23 (April 2024)

(she/her) is a poet most recently from Volcano, Hawaii. A retired county worker and two-time breast cancer survivor, she has lived on both coasts as well as the Midwest as an artist’s model, modern dancer, massage therapist, and honorably discharged Air Force veteran. Her poems have appeared in The Ekphrastic Review, Gargoyle, Gyroscope, ONE ART, Sheila-na-Gig, Silver Birch Press, and Verse-Virtual among others.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Light, a poem by Shaun R. Pankoski in Poetry Breakfast (9 April 2024)

Pudding, a poem by Pankoski at Silver Birch Press (18 January 2024)

Ode to the Egret in the 7-11 Parking Lot, in Anacapa Review (Volume 1, Number 10; December 2023)

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.