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I know you now. I see you auto-pilot rear view. You
are the driver of all my grievances, my petty griefs,
a sneaky little thief of self until each of us is just one,
but still you’re dodging the highway patrol, paying each
freeway toll for me, taking all the bullets meant for me.

My greatest miseries, yours, my beloved, just like Bronte’s
warped vision. They float like spores over our jumbled,
tumbled-up lives, a busy and somewhat confused hive
that sometimes seems a little more vinegar than honey.

Honey, curious tourist of all these griefs and grievances,
listen: there’s no brochure. But you’re still every melting
icicle, glistening, my only relief from a cold, hard winter,
that little splinter bothering memory, and in my greatest

grief, the stark dam against ice and frost—is this love or
did we merely mete a sentence out of dependent clauses?


Pamela L. Sumners’ work has appeared in about 30 journals in 2018-19, including Mudlark, Snakeskin, Eunoia, California Quarterly, Third Wednesday, Tahoma Literary Review, Loch Raven Review, Galway Review, Midwest Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Bacopa, Raw Art Review, and several anthologies including 64 Best of 2018 (Halcyone/Black Mountain Press). A native Alabamian, she now appreciates St. Louis’ brilliant architecture and amazing parks.

© 2020, Pamela L. Sumners

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