ROBERT JOE STOUT : No Longer Young
AMANDA JOHNSTON : Miz Cassidy's Vision
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No Longer Young The Bridge Miz Cassidy's Vision  

No Longer Young
On the prairies there are baHhen patches. In the jungles thick and tangled growth. Feelings come up through our roots and flower, fester, tremble, curl --a process we can't stop. We and all these growing things react to what we've lost. Your fingers on my skin now have a starchy touch. We are who we were going to be those many years ago when love was flush.
I have many things to write unto you but   I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian

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No Longer Young The Bridge Miz Cassidy's Vision  

The Bridge 
On the middle of the bridge we Leaned our arms on the railing And looked at the slimy, green Slow running stream. Its banks Decorated by plastic bottles, used Condoms, a dog long since dead Yet grinning as remembering A filthy joke and three months Old abortions, half eaten by discerning Water rats. Over this beauty of decay Hung a reluctant pale sun, refusing To lend light to this polluted River scene. 'First time we came Here the water was clear, we could See fishes swim and you held My hand,' she said. My hands were cold I spat into The filth below and dug them deep Into my own pocket, hunched My shoulders and began walking Didn't bother to tell her that our love Was like a stream burdened by too Much debris, all we have in common Is a shared solitude and that's a tad Better than being alone. copyright 2003 JAN O HANSEN
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

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No Longer Young The Bridge Miz Cassidy's Vision  

Miz Cassidy's Vision
(Attending the First Annual Bluegrass Writer's Conference)
Would be writers and poets enter the once was convent absent of nuns now full of history Lining the walls sunk deep between aged floorboards in creases of dusty curtain fabric is Miz Cassidy's Vision Confined to the matchbox of a kitchen LeAnna-dutifully prepares meals for Miz Cassidy's guests Delicately discarding unwanted brown crusts from dainty white bread chicken salad sandwiches her beautifully aged black hands pop with pride she don't need no help Accustomed to hard work and serving the white folks, LeAnna stays smiling while serving My aSsetite subsides a traitor cannot eat who am I to play the tom and waste a good Saturday frivolously writing But LeAnna smiles at me when Miz Cassidy is not hovering a Grandmother kind of grin proud of her accomplishments for the familiar stranger that is me My lineage has cut many sandwiches prepared many meals for the white folks served them up with smiles shielded from Miz Cassidy's vision they slaved to envision my being The sole black woman, unexpected, nevertheless present, eating Miz Cassidy's chicken salad sandwiches, coloring her vision, hugging the help and writing poetry with the other Southern Belles. copyright 2003 AMANDA JOHNSTON
ROBERT JOE STOUT : No Longer Young
AMANDA JOHNSTON : Miz Cassidy's Vision
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