December 15, 2011 / Creative Writing
Chris Hoke learns something about receiving the Messiah from towering and tattooed Teddy, a former gang member in Skagit Valley, Washington.
January 12, 2015
O Wheat and Barley, if we did not cut
the prairie each year, your roots would be deeper
than Alaska snow and wider than our throats.
Why can’t we plant and not uproot.
In every leafy stalk, in every sugar grain, let the words
be etched, how I still love. The wind feathers
through the plains and even lays some stalks to their sides,
but still there is no chaff expelled, the roots hold
everything inside. Wheat and Barley, I am
not like you. I cannot stand still. Teach me,
Wheat, and teach me, Barley, how to pray
like you sustain the muscles of the thick-
necked boys, the girls in flowered dresses, the groundhog
and the mouse. How landlocked you remain,
but ocean green, ocean grain.
Alessandra Simmons is a writer and editor based in Chicago, specializing in nonprofit communications and curriculum development. She has work published in WomenArts Quarterly, Post Road, Hawaii Pacific Review, St. Peter’s B-list, and other journals and anthologies. She interviews working writers on her blog alessandrasimmons.com.