Cheryl Snell


Say a phrase over and over. Its meaning sloughs off.
Sounds collide, saturating you. You go still
beneath your skin.

The girl whispered my Dad died, and there was nothing
to breathe in the cabin.

She pulled treasures from her bag like a string
of magician's scarves. The red carnation appeared, a bent
and wilted thing, thumbprinted with effort to make memory last.

We mended the dangling flowerhead with gum and nail polish
knowing the fix would finish it.

When she left the plane, she held her funereal flower tight.
Never mind how the people turned away or how the petals
littered the ground like the opposite of confetti.

Location: Glenn Dale, Maryland
Occupation: Pianist
Publications: Antietam Review, Petroglyph, Comstock Review, Washington Review,River Oak Review, Amherst Review, Potomac Review, cwhobb, threecandles, 2River view, etc.
Books: Shiva's Arms, Flower Half Blown (Finishing Line Press), Heads (March Street Press), Prisoner's Dilemma (forthcoming)
Awards: Honorable mention from the Dana Literary Awards; finalist for the Omaha Prize; nominated for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry

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