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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Haibun: 71 words
By Crystal Simone Smith



The pastor had the daunting task of laying my vagrant uncle to rest. Even the adult children listed in the obituary weren’t present. Sometimes inspiration is the canvas of a day like these gleaming clouds and stretched hills of bluets. He eulogizes the unloved. The small congregation sighs and musters a tearful laughter. He paints a picture we can live with.

kinfolks aging out
the vultures back
again at dusk

Crystal Simone Smith
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a poet and educator. She is the author of Dark Testament (Henry Holt, 2023). She also authored three poetry chapbooks, Down To Earth (2020), Running Music (2014), and Routes Home (2013). In 2022, her collection of haiku, Ebbing Shore, won The Haiku Foundation Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. Smith is the recipient of a Duke Humanities Unbounded Fellowship. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Crab Orchard Review, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Modern Haiku, Poetry Magazine, and Prairie Schooner. She teaches in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University and writes poetry about the human condition and social change.

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