Current Issue Excerpts


Dropping in
at the annual festival

It's a wooden-wheel hearse I realize
behind three women of an earlier time
on guitar and the young fiddle player on the rise
in the rear of the historic museum
on a rainy day in Malpeque, PEI,
fresh oysters waiting to be shucked,
mussels steaming in stainless steel pots,
wind easy, rain falling straight down
on the gathered
mostly locals with a few from other provinces
and here we are, the two of us, in this country that draws
us like flies to the honey pot,
searching for the escape from what holds,
the glue of familiarity,
the tethering to known,
locals are open, accepting, and when I tell the older woman
next to the "little neck" shucker that is what we call them,
not quahogs, she listens, smiles and says
"just quahogs up here."

MARC SWAN is a retired vocational rehabilitation counsellor. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, ROPES, Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry, and Chiron Review, among other publications. His fourth collection, today can take your breath away, was published in 2018 by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions. He lives with his wife Dd in Freeport, Maine.

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