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Poetry

Mary Warren Foulk

A graduate of the MFA in Writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Mary Warren Foulk lives in western Massachusetts with her wife and two children. She is an educator, writer, and activist. Her work has appeared in VoiceCatcher, Cathexis Northwest Press, Yes, Poetry, the Arlington Literary Journal (ArLiJo, Gival Press), and Palette Poetry, among other publications. She also is thrilled to be part of the (M)othering Anthology (Inanna Publications) and My Loves: A Digital Anthology of Queer Love Poems (Ghost City Press).

Self Portrait With Erosion

Do you remember
the sting of lemon sherbet
on our chins sunburnt
from hours playing
in white sand?

Riding bikes
bought at end-of-season
yard sales
for $10 at best,
their squeaky wheels
and rusted shells?
Mine was red,
yours a pitch pine,
and their pedals hummed
and clanged making silhouettes
across black tar.

Seagulls cried in the slow
breeze of ocean tides
eroding Stone Harbor
so gently
over time.

And Grandmother’s house on
106th Street
one of the last standing,
the only A-frame
with its pebble lawn
eclipsed by mini-mansions
on undersized lots
meant for humbler destinies.

Bare feet on coarse
damp morning beach,
a long walk to the stone
boardwalk,
siblings breathing
in the shared air
to watch fishermen
catch doomed crabs
snapping against their
mortality.

Do you remember
the soft taffy
fresh from the loom
of an open window
spectacle,
deep crowds waiting for
a sticky
taste?

Later, with our blistered skin
we noted cracked
sidewalks on the
meandering route
home.

Sea-air stained
bedsheets,
a salty film covering
weathered curtains
dancing in dusty windows
to shadow
ceiling beams and
imaginations.

Background sounds of
crashing waves—
our childhood’s
summer
lullaby.

If I were to visit now,
how would it feel
without you?
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