Spring 2024

A strike

By Laine Derr
                 I used to set wooden pins
                     back up, picturing
                                 a dad missing
                                     a child

blooming thistle

I could’ve loved her more, unfolded
my throat, soundlessly singing along.

I could of been a bridled titmouse.

I could’ve opened my heart with a P-38,
fancied myself (cut by cut) radiant red.

I could of saved myself, then ruined anew.

I could’ve kept my pain in underground
parking, roamed the spaces looking for you.

In the desert, where she died, I could of
offered my eyes, blooming thistle, I could’ve.

I could of lived in a chest, learned how to be
the lowest drawer – [an un-sung poem].

Laine Derr holds an MFA from Northern Arizona University and has published interviews with Carl Phillips, Ross Gay, Ted Kooser, and Robert Pinsky. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming from J Journal, Full Bleed + The Phillips Collection, ZYZZYVA, Portland Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.

Spring 2024