Poetry Pop Up Party by Miriam Sagan

Snip, snap, snout
This tale’s told out

This bridge over the acequia
was once a wobbly wooden plank
but now the mayor has cut the ribbon
although some still camp
by the tunnel
and bundled on benches in the weeds.

As a child
I loved the tale of Billy Goat Gruff
who gored the troll
from his lair
beneath the bridge.
And now you, pilgrim,
wish to cross
from one place
to another
often a dangerous enterprise
so pay no toll
but the courage you hold in your hand.

Poem by Miriam Sagan

I saw this on waking…

a clearing in the dream thicket
deciduous woods, like childhood
wherever that was, and snow ankle deep

goose girl, you’ve run again
from those who would rape and starve you
with a pocket full of berries

or Red Riding Hood, you put on your hat
the silly mittens
with every finger knit a different color

and finally the hoodie
the color of what is supposed to stay inside but
doesn’t always comply—blood, rage, a desire

to put yourself first
to not bring the basket of delicacies
to the demented grandmother

who asks repeatedly
is that for me?
and—where are my car keys?

better to sit and drink the wine yourself
as if there were no wolf
because maybe there isn’t

and to walk
in the opposite direction
of what you were told to.


by Joan Mitchell

When the poisoned apple lodged in your throat
the sad dwarfs hauled you to a wide hilltop

and left you there alone.  Your glass coffin
is an odd sky window where the seasons pass

like familiar strangers, and bring eternities
of birds.  The owl comes with the first

snow’s silence, tufted feet just above your head.
Round gold eyes.  His tears clink on the glass.

The raven brings tears of rain, and a comic
waddle.  He peers at you from one side

of his head and then the other as new green
mounds along the coffin’s sides.  Summer’s dove

has the tiniest feet, a busy scuffling on the glass.
He pecks on the lid right above your nose:

“I’d curl, curl, curl soft and gray beside you.”
The prince will come as crisp leaves skitter on the lid.

He’ll kiss you, and it all begins again:  Rush of mind
and blood.  Tug of others.  Bicker of everyday birds.


Pleased to announce this poem is forthcoming in The Santa Fe Literary Review, which is currently in production ad should be out midsummer, with a launch party in September.

“Artifact” by Gail Rieke