Jennifer Poteet

1905, American Homes and Gardens, New York Munn and Co, Smithsonian

Frog Hollow Pastoral

It’s true my world has gotten smaller. Still, the neighbor’s calendula explodes with orange blooms, hosting a steady orchestra of bees. Robins and finches chatter. Cardinals sing birdie, birdie, birdie. Squirrels chase each other around the base of a three-limbed oak, their nails skittering across the bark. A lone brown rabbit munches clover along the driveway. Sometimes, two chipmunks visit, their racing-striped bodies almost imperceptible under fallen branches. Children call to each other; an ice cream truck circles the block playing “Buttons and Bows.”

the roar of engines
a lawn mower promenade
I escape inside

My Mother Ironed

Both hands slid the Proctor-Silex with a devotion some people have when they whittle wood or knit. I can still smell the perfume of heavy starch and hear a hiss of steam on wet linen. Shirts swung on satin hangers in a neat row beneath the padded board. Even bed sheets flattened, obedient to her press. Tablecloths were her specialty, and she could iron all day, especially if WQXR played Baroque. Now that she’s gone, I walk, wrinkled, out into the world.

Jennifer Poteet lives in Montclair, New Jersey. Work has recently been published in Paterson Literary Review, Swimm, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily and elsewhere. Jennifer’s chapbook Sleepwalking Home was published by Dancing Girl Press. Her website is

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Fall 2021