Amy Beth Sisson


When I became a gray-haired orphan
I fell pregnant with death

The white coat sonographer squeezed
cold gel onto my belly
but failed to capture the image

No generation stood between me
And the grey noise on the screen
Not Noah or Naamah
Nor their sons or wives
Not my mother
Not my father
They are gone

We will all labor
in pain and fear
or in an opiate fog
and deliver

Some with blind sockets
Some with eyes for the face of God

Rage Baby

The Christmas gift poinsettia
sat on the cement floor of the screen porch
Drooping red bracts
Never watered
Not even once
A plastic pot wrapped in silver foil

As she threw it away, my mother said,
“I don’t want one more thing to take care of
Four kids are four too many”

Mother grinned at the photo
of a crawling age baby
stuck with an elbow in the dog’s water dish
Eyes raged shiny with tears.

The face would be bright red, if it was shot in color

   Teenage boy’s shins
   pin skinny kid shoulders
   The girl’s small feet kick the air
   His fingers in her armpits
   “Stop” stutters her laughter
   Eyes raged, shiny with tears
   He keeps tickling until wet darkens
   the crotch of her jeans
   first warm
   Then cold in the air conditioned living room

Cousins on the couch
look up from their game of hearts

Amy Beth Sisson is sheltering in a small town outside of Philly. Her poem, Dissection appears in Issue 32 of Cleaver Magazine. Her fiction has appeared in Enchanted Conversation and Sweet Tree Review. Her non-fiction for children has appeared in Highlight’s High Five and Fun for Kidz magazines. Her day job is in software development. She tells programmers what business people want and tells business people why they can’t quite have it.

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Winter 2021