Life on Harding and Kercheval Streets
Though our parents thought it was a nice enough place and we were happy
exploding water balloons on the back lawn then came gasoline in 7-up
finding their way through the neighbor’s window and their house
blackened its eyes and teeth missing though over time we sometimes
forgot about it there was
always an undercurrent a darkness on the brightest day little stresses
and inlets of worry we could read in the grownups’ faces despite the
allowed ourselves making chalk flowers on the driveway pretending we
didn't see the gangs of boys sauntering through the alley, cutting
through our side yard
to the street as if they owned it which they pretty much did but
sometimes we went to their parties knowing they weren't allowed to carry
their guns into the
house so hiding them in the bushes by the front porch would have to
suffice our mother standing nervously on the sidewalk the whole time
keeping her eye on
so many situations and sewing yellow curtains for the dark kitchen so
there wouldbe a thin slant of light in addition to the ceiling fixture
with its hoard of dead
flies and mosquitoes and we scoffed at her over our soup because we
figured she so often worried unnecessarily and the guys with Saturday
usually shot themselves in the foot anyway and I loved James Freeman and
he loved me back so I tried my very bestnot to ask too many questions
was always the outline of something heavy in his jacket but I promised myself I wouldn’t turn into my mother.
Say What You Want
I didn't know he wasn't Hungarian,
called him Hunkie because
I thought it endearing
the way he smiled over his shoulder
almost shyly as he teased Becky Hipsher about her "sure hips"
and the alley between houses
where the teacher worked her garden
but always looked up as we passed,
smiled as if it never occurred to her
or to me!
that she thought I might have meant myself
the time I told her
others were cheating when she left the room during tests
but I'd only just figured out
the importance of getting out of there myself
before being trapped
another whole lifetime
though I'd miss
the way we trusted the dark,
the first sun on the raspberries
and the train whistle as the cattle cars
barreled through town.
Alinda’s work has appeared in Fresh Water: Women Writing About the Great
Lakes (a Michigan Best Book), Avatar Review, New Millenium Poets,
Passages North, Wayne Review, Wittenberg Review, Corridors, Blue Lake
Review, Comstock Review, UpStreet, Paint Creek Press, Outsider Writers,
Inkwell, InSpirit, The MacGuffin, Up the Staircase, The Detroit Free
Press, The Detroit Metro Times and Michigan Natural Resources, and
Southward, (Cork Ireland Review) among others.
Winner of the Tompkins Prize for Poetry, Fiction and Essay, Alinda has
also won an Amelia Press Award, The Wittenberg Poetry Award, a Mr.
Cogito Press Award, and Archives Bookstore Poetry prize, a Port Aransas
Poetry Slam prize, a Chicago Poetry Center juried award, a 2007 Prague
Writer’s scholarship, and was semi finalist in the 2010 Paumonok Poetry
Prize, a finalist in the 2010 Atlanta Review International Poetry Award
and has been nominated for the 2011 Best of the Net Award. email@example.com
Out of 1700 entrants, she placed second in the 2010 Cork, Ireland Munster Poetry Center International Poetry Prize.
A collection, Kissing the Ikons, has been published by Finishing Line Press, and
When You Don’t Know Who You Are by Cleveland’s Crisis Chronicle Press, and
Extraneous by Poet’s Haven Press will be published in 2013.