The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University


One very brittle secretary
to keep me on my toes

mentally and emotionally –

someone who forgets
to erase her dreams
from the tape recorder

and leaves her keys
in the branches of a
lilac tree –

complains she can’t
find them

points to the
sky only to see
half a moon

and interrupts
each tree and branch

with one hand she answers
the phone and with the other –
files things under the table –

she explains away
her life from behind
a podium

no one is in the audience

she’s as comfortable
in tennis shoes as she
is in tennis shoes

and is aging badly

she looks at the clock
repeatedly, wanting
to get the hell out
of there

she takes apart her poem
in fragments, unwilling
to give up loose ends

harbors a spare
apartment key
that lets no one in
but herself

the harbor spreads its
arms out to all
but the unwanted


City Girl

I am a city girl
but these strawberries
never seem to end

when strawberry season comes
we leave our books for boots

and wade ankle deep
in strawberry plants
to pull and pull

they resist

the way a door
in an ill set frame
resists opening

someday things will fall
into our hands

carried by their own weight