My Surgeon Neglected to Tell Me

that with swift deft movement
I would be initiated into the sorority of Amazons.

But MY bow is strung six fold,
pressed tight, snug, intimate against my empty chest.

I cover the scar with my guitar
and aim my arrow song.

—Muriel T. Stackley

The scoop on words

Words for God
are like our words
for ice cream: sweet,
delicious, amazing.

But when I open
my mouth to pray,
I don’t want
words to hold
things up.
I just
to take
a lick.

—Cynthia Yoder

The Windmill

The wind that blows from nowhere to here

tips the blades, gray boards exposed
under white.

The arms that lift, side and drop
mix sky and water without thought,

so easily they creak their heaven and earth

And I, sprawled in the nearby field of yellow

think of how you

would have loved this place. I say it to myself
as if you weren’t here.

As if heaven had nothing to do with us,
sitting on flowers in Michigan,

as if heaven were up near Pluto somewhere,
and you, circling the rings of Saturn.

The windmill blades turn with invisible
force, and this is how we talk,

your words like the wind, mine like worn,
warped boards

turning to face you.

—Cynthia Yoder

San Antonio Peace Coffeehouse

At Aldaco’s Mexican Restaurant,
I order enchiladas divorciadas—divorced enchiladas:
one enchilada with red sauce,
the other with green sauce,
separated irreconcilably,
proclaims the menu,
by the rice and beans between them.
Who could resist an entree so wittily named?
Or is the chasm the menu description evokes
a bad omen?

As I mix both kinds of enchiladas together on my plate—
a reconciliation miraculously quick and painless—
musicians and poets take turns voicing visions of peace,
straining to be heard
over the band playing outside,
its jarring, overpowering noises
invading our space,
unnecessary reminder
of war’s deafening drumbeat,
drowning out all dissent.

—Wanda Reinford


Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul. — Walt Whitman

Unlike Spiderman
shooting out webbing at will,
I am no superhero.
Nor is the web
which connects me to the world
a tangible one
like that of Whitman’s noiseless patient spider.
No, my tools are keyboard and modem,
monitor and mouse.
To click send
takes a leap of faith:
a gossamer thread flung into the great wide world.
Though Whitman is long gone,
my soul’s hopes remain quite like his:
to form a bridge,
sink an anchor,
connect the spheres.

—Wanda Reinford