Taryn Riley is a painter and illustrator currently living in Florida. She has a master’s degree from Maryland Institute College of Art. For the last six years she has been an elementary and middle-school art teacher. Her art functions as a way of processing her daily thoughts and experiences. She has work forthcoming in Chestnut Review and Diet Milk Magazine. More of her work can be viewed on Instagram or on her website.
This month we offer our renaissance, a body that survived.
Next month we ask for:
Submission guidelines can be found here.
Carrying Bricks in a Wheelbarrow
Carrying bricks in a wheelbarrow, a red one,
from Rand’s house to mine, on Washington St.
in Lanesville, past the old cemetery, past Jeannie’s house,
Frank’s house, and the doctor’s house, my arms shaking
a little from the load, because it’s been too long since
I have lifted heavy things, getting soft in a quarantine
that doesn’t love my body.
Rand said, Help yourself and pointed to the heap of bricks
in his driveway—broken and whole—rusted rubies, coated
with the white plaster of goodness that holds everything
together, then releases, when it needs to, under the
Pushing that wheelbarrow, one I bought long ago
at my local Ace Hardware, Smith’s Lumber, you know?
a mask on my face, gloves on my calloused hands, a small
woman laughing to herself, glasses fogging up, watching out
for lifts in the sidewalk where I could trip and go flying,
and the bricks could tumble—
Each muscle talking to me, giving thanks for the good ache
starting to form, for the task, carrying bricks, bricks I rescue
from a demolished fireplace that once gave comfort to a family,
and will have a second life, cradling earth for seedlings.
When the sun comes back, fully and for a long time, the bricks
will warm the earth, the seedlings will grow into food, the wheelbarrow,
empty, ready for a new haul, with stronger arms, on a body that survived.
Lenore Balliro lives in Gloucester, MA where she is working a post-retirement job as a dog auntie. She has been published in several literary journals and anthologies including The Paterson Review, The Atlanta Review, the minnesota review, the Prose Poem Project, and others. She is a former recipient of the RI state council on the arts award for poetry.
this 30-year-old’s secret to looking young is still being young
(after Reductress post)
i was invited to a marathon of lord of the rings and all the sudden
i’m watching youtube videos on archery arm braces and my desktop
is covered with pictures of legolas pulled from google images
and i hear myself lecturing on how the character is underdeveloped
and watching online compilations of scenes with aragorn and arwen
thinking “this is cheesy” but also kind of crying and walking around
town in a herringbone cloak i got on etsy because guess what
it’s fucking fun to dress up, to run around in fall in pennsylvania forest
everything is going to hell just like it always was
but i am 30 years old and this, as zack says, is our renaissance
Jodi Bosin is a Philadelphia-based writer and social worker with poetry in Always Crashing, HAD, Wax Nine, and more as well as self-published zines. Find her on the front porch and on Instagram.