Volume 44 ~ 2022

Maxine Fickenscher


Your Death Will Sit Through Many Empty Heartbeats 


Through those soundless lonely moments six feet under there will be

Wailing new life brought to this world

A forced smile hiding a deeper sadness  

In this world while you are gone there will be


Hugs and safety


The feeling of home

With warm pillows and hands reaching out to be held 

and all things good have their time 

But in your absence from this world there will also be


Fear and hopelessness 


The feeling of drowning in the vast undiscovered ocean 

So while you can grow the beautiful flower fields of hope and joy

Be the band-aid that helps heal the soul 

The soul is permanent this life is temporary

Just Right 


My mom’s famous sliders

They’re loved by all in town 

Made most when the weather is cool and the leaves are falling

To when graduation comes around

The warmth they contain fills the room

With bread as soft as a cloud 

And ham and cheese as smooth as silk 

They smell like home

Like happy times and joy 

Like running around the kitchen carefully as not to anger mom

Or bickering lovingly like a family should 

As long as she’s able to cook sliders will always be an option on the menu

She teaches me how to make them her way 

The right way

Saying things like 

Don’t add too much butter otherwise they’ll be soggy 

While I had the butter and sauteed onion mixture

I put the heavenly sliders into the oven to cook 

Hoping I don’t smell smoke 

Like what I smell when my big brother cooks as he insist 

But burnt food just smells good, and it’s crunchy too

As he runs out of the house with the smoke alarm 

Once they come out of the oven angels sing in the heavens

Bright smiles spread on happy faces

As an army of hungry humans devour the sliders in no time flat  

While stories are told and laughs are shared 

Memories are made and family bonds formed

And food once again helps the world go round

I Love You 


to the moon and back

more than the moon loves the sky 

more than I love the moon 


to the constellations and back 

to the five moons of Pluto and back 

through the depths of space and time 


more than the millions of earths that would fit in the sun

to the blue sunsets of mars and back 

in all of the two trillion known galaxies


for all of the sixteen hours that make up a day on Neptune 

to the heights of Olympus Mons and back 

enough to break the absolute silence in space


enough to take eighteen years to walk to the moon and back. 

My love for you is unceasing and will never disappear 

like a footprint on the moon.

            -For my little sister and her love for the moon