unfolding of the towels


he folds towels to horizontal squares
mound stacks them approximate
haphazard…any which…upon a shelf
size irrelevant…except utility
of indoor outdoor…kitchen bath
or car and window

she folds linens supple lengthwise
top to bottom arm stretch long way
spread longitudinal…aligns corners
proportional for use…communion table
priest precise as if their separation mattered

long years they played this game
of stubborn mind and peckish humor
other issues…willful to their natures
they would not bend into each other,
would not apportion different need

they unfolded into a world
alienated… where stranger
boundaries were chaos
his horizontal…her longitudinal
no longer give them certainty


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork: Unknown

the silence between words

BirchTree  dana marie


I must hear the silence
between your words
to know how hard they
are for you to say.
Too smooth …I’ll know
you’re riffing jazz
to stay afloat until I say
stop…and we hide
in why and wherefore,
or you say…stop…and
we listen to a replay
of what and we’ll…
until we space our words
like two leaves on a winter tree
reluctant…holding on to stay…
words between the silence.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Rob Gonsalves

quilting stitches

log cabin life

she quilts marriage on her lap
each rocking stitch
a mantra repetition
stitched in cotton…
of salvaged patterns
from his work shirts
from her dresses,
from linen on their bed
for a softer backing

she quilts time upon her lap
log cabin squares in layers
like decades ’round a hearth
or geologic strata
surround of molten core
to accumulate…adjust
she sews whole hours
from her memory

she quilts endurance on her lap
to needle pierces…notice
through cloth to skin
that once sensed tender
tiny bleed on fingertips
now lightly callused to the touch

Art by Sandy Meyer