Grieve now

You should have it out now.
Mourn, keen, cry—
whatever it takes.

When Steinbeck killed him,
you didn’t know it was coming.
Though he did it eighty years ago,
the mercy is fresh
(the murder is fresh).

That’s how it is now, for you.
This news, this death is fresh,
though the body is cold,
the pain still pulses.

Nichole M. Dulin


Anna’s gone


I brought her jellybeans. They’re low in sodium and she liked them, though God knows why. I could never stand them myself.

I had driven there alone. I didn’t want to go, but it was Mother’s Day and I had made a promise. It was hard to find; down winding roads between old colonials, cemeteries, and churches. It was in town, but tucked behind some historic building that was now a law office. The grass was long. It was a wet spring. I guess I knew the grass grew fast, but I felt it as a bad omen. What other care was slipping through the cracks? Continue reading


Does the bowstring remember each arrow?
Comfortably slipped into the nock
Gently rested in place
Tenderly drawn back into the past
And then violently shocked forward
When it is taught, does it learn the subtle distinctions of the fletch?
Once loose, does the bowstring feel the paradox?
Does it know if it missed?
With each release, is it stronger or more frail?
Does it mourn?
Does it look for the lost friend, lost child, lost love?
Does it accept the next from the quiver with anticipation?

Nichole M. Dulin