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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Poem: 146 words
By Robert L. Dean, Jr.


When you walk through 
the door of me 
which way 
are the geese 

what hour 
do the clocks chime 
are they in unison 
I always forget 
to wind them 

straighten the pictures 
if the walls stare at you 
out of plumb 

are waiting 
in the kitchen 
forgive me 

if they are stale 
I’ve always known you were coming 
just not the day 
the epoch 
or who 

you will say that you are 
what name you will call out 

when you see me 
all of my 

secret panels 
groaning pipes 
cold spots 
scent of lavender 

and something 
you can’t quite 
put your finger on 

such a crying shame as 
I’ve always counted on 
your finger 
to point me to 

who built this house 
how long it has been here 
how long 

before the roof falls in 
and where I hid 
the key
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Issue 3, May 2020

is the author of two books: a poetry collection, At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, November 2018), and The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems and short fictions after the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020). His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Chiron Review; Flint Hills Review; Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity; I-70 Review; Illya’s Honey; KYSO Flash; MacQueen’s Quinterly; Red River Review; River City Poetry; Shot Glass; The Ekphrastic Review; and the Wichita Broadside Project. His work has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net anthology award; he was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry; and he read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018 and 2019.

Dean has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, and serves as Event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita.

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