Fall 2016

Edited by Barry Kitterman | Andrea Spofford | Amy Wright



Poetry

Letter to Flint Parents

​Kristie Betts Letter


Children should be tested as soon as possible

 

keep bright-eyed babies from sharp objects

while awash in corroded, concrete data

 

A level of 5-44 means your child has some exposure

 

yes folic acid, eschew shellfish, ensure

safeties until Flint waters flinch, but still

 

Some food will help keep lead from being stored in a child’s body

 

milk, oranges: but not juice, not cans of water mixed

concentrate on just calm, on keeping soft from sharp

 

Wash hands and toys often with soap and water.

 

take care, to take in, to parent, not parrot

then to hand the child the soft rubber duck

 

You can use unfiltered water for washing your hands or washing dishes.

 

gray expanse, lines mapping what lies beneath

surfacing of all fears, from gray faucet rumble

 

If you have to use unfiltered water, let run for five minutes.

 

slap the toy from the baby’s mouth, the wet yellow

leaded moment, leaden heart, led here and away.

 

 

___________________________________________________

Kristie Betts Letter’s work has been selected for Best American Small Fictions 2017, published in The Massachusetts Review, and will be featured at the PAMLA 2017 conference. KT literary represents her novel Snow and White




Back to the Issue Catalog


Related Selections

Nonfiction

Verbal Binary Presence in Early Childhood Development,  that Infamously Difficult Poetic Form the Villanelle,  and the Spiritual Quotidian

In the womb it’s neither no nor yes. 

 

You do, however, gather physical strength. You are, however, unprepared for the binary presence that awaits you on the shores of the amniotic sea in which you swim.

continue reading >

Poetry

from Leafmold, Disguised as an Exercise by F. Daniel Rzicznek

Disguised as an exercise, he taught the non-relation of one thing to another.

continue reading >

Poetry

Floating Island of Plastic by Neil Shepard

In the horse latitudes, the gyre keeps feeding styrene to this trough

continue reading >