Issue #12


Kate O'Donnell

Did mothers always try to press on their daughters the itineraries of which they

themselves had dreamed? -The Year Of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

I almost drop the book,

Pages fly shut through my shaking hands.

Across the table my mother stares

Out the train window. I match

Her gaze and my mind reels,

Wildflowers and hills fleeing far

Too quick to focus, my eyes scatter,

My soul sinks back through the cushioned seat

Up into the scattered air. I fix on a hawk,

Unmoving on the highest branch, ready to snap

Its beak, shred tomorrow with a single talon.

I will see him again when the train stops, watch

Ticks, lights flash and my head snaps

Shut. I misplaced my agenda but my mother

Will gladly read me hers. I feel the press

Of plans but I will not hear her words.

She asks where I am headed and the movement

Of my feet will be the only answer.

Kate O’Donnell is completing her studies in Poetry and Sociology at Northwestern

University. While born and raised in Chicago, she has always felt most at home in the

mountains or at sea. She can be found on Twitter @kate1od.

Body Psalm

Audrey Gidman

—& think of wilderness how it has suffered.

Bone flower-

pushing through skin; a spine

of mountains.

Eyes as lilies in the valley watching

women walk

like trees.

Eyes looking

for god

in other eyes. Holding out their cups


the houses

of the old tongue. Not ruined temples, just

these clay hands. A mortar

& pestle. Moss. Milk-


Audrey Gidman is the 2018 recipient of the Elyse Wolf Prize and author of the chapbook, body psalms, forthcoming from Slate Roof Press. Her work can be found in Q/A Poetry, mutiny! magazine, Confrontation, Slippery Elm, The Rush, and elsewhere. She received her BFA from the University of Maine Farmington. Instagram: @audrexe