Issue > Poetry
Liz Dolan

Liz Dolan

Liz Dolan’s poetry manuscript, A Secret of Long Life, nominated for the Robert McGovern Prize, will soon be published by Cave Moon Press. Her first poetry collection, They Abide, was published by March Street. A six-time Pushcart nominee and winner of Best of the Web, she was a finalist for Best of the Net 2014. She has received fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, The Atlantic Center for the Arts and Martha’s Vineyard.

Masterpiece

Four-year-old Mairead scribbles her name
upside down and backwards on the back
of her drawing so you can see it correctly
from the front. Except
she writes a b instead of a d.

We'll have to call you Maireab.

Maireab Maireab Maireab, she shouts.

Why so many flowers and ladders? I say.

Cant't you see Tommy climbing to heaven?
The flowers are for his Mommy. In the car
she says, he sees us even if we can't see him.
He might be sitting right next to us...
And Baby Nelia and Baby Jesus and God.

It's getting crowded in here, I say.

We need a bus, she laughs, kicking
the back of the seat.
A dead people's bus. Ask Jesus for it,
he's like magic, he walks on water.

Two By Two

On the way to piano lessons an Episcopal bishop reaches
through the radio: Yes, he is gay. He has loved          

two mates: one female, one male. Two sets of hands now poised     
above the ivory, Ms. Dickens tells my grandson, Mikey, to linger

on the notes; two notes, played together, create harmony.
Mikey's body exudes harmony. When he was four

he told me he ran faster with his feet on. As he plunks the piano,
her Pomeranians chime in. Be light-fingered, she says.

How long before he learns piano playing is gay?

A bloomless Christmas cactus sits on a glass pedestal.
Daffodils sprout on their greens, a rainy January day.

Driving to work, I used to listen to the Reverend Bob Cook, a Baptist.
His mellifluous Hello, Beloved, how in the world are you?

flooded my car with light. As a motherless boy,
a portly woman nurtured him. She tiptoed through their church,

infused with the Spirit, waving her lace hanky. Praise Jesus!
Alleluia, Jesus! Years passed. The Reverend's voice weakened.

One day: silence. Under the spires of the GWB I wept.
Walk with the King today and be a blessing.... On the way home,      

we pass the house of a friend who lost her grandchild           
at Sandy Hook. She was six, autistic. Her name was Jennifer Grace Gay.

She loved the color purple. She never spoke.

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