Fall 2023

Float

By Bill Hollands

I’m Little Jack Horner.
Don’t ask why. I wear
knickers, buckled
shoes, a yellow shirt
with a bow. Jack & Jill
and Jack Frost talk
to me. I feign
nonchalance. I poke
my left thumb
in the papier-mâché
plum, wave with my
right. Incandescent
plastic petals flutter.
Orange. Yellow. I wait
at the end for the queen
and her court. Castle
turrets shake. Crowns
wink. So much
beauty, beauty
beyond understanding.


Bill Hollands graduated from Williams College and was a Herchel Smith Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. He worked for the New York Public Library and Microsoft before becoming a teacher. He lives in Seattle with his husband and their son. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as New Ohio Review, Boulevard, Rattle, DIAGRAM, Hunger Mountain, and Smartish Pace. He has been a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize, Sycamore Review‘s Wabash Prize in Poetry, Smartish Pace‘s Erskine J. Poetry Prize, and New Ohio Review‘s NORward Prize. https://billhollandspoetry.com/

Fall 2023