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Brett Thompson

Brett Thompson has been writing poetry since his graduate days at the University of New Hampshire where he earned a M.A. in English Writing with a concentration in poetry. He has been published in various journals, including Plainsongs, Tilde, District Lit, The Literary Nest, and the Peregrine Journal. He teaches and lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two young daughters.


I didn’t tell you earlier
about the field mouse who sprang
in front of the mower
the devastation it left behind.
Nor about our old classmate
who shot himself in the forehead
just last week. The afternoon
had become so hot.
Sweat ran down our cups in tiny beads.
You crunched rum soaked ice
between your teeth and spat
out the largest chunks, laughing.
Faced with annihilation
you and I
will go on living.


And for a moment
I regain my faith
in the crush of humanity

rewatching David Grey’s
Live at the Point.
Twenty years ago

my father and I
spoke plainly, for what
was the last time.

In the cold dark basement
we measured out
our differences and catalogued

our mistakes. If I could return
to where he said it would
be easy to forget the past

would any insight remain?
The death of his own father,
the regrets he carried

in his throat like a bolus
throughout the leanest years
between my birth and the emptiness

of his current longing.
It isn’t easy to admit our lies.
We are all faced with our own rope.

It swings in the silver air
on some clear morning.
On others, it hangs

limp, beckoning to our bodies
as we fasten to its strands.
Life frays.

we are fragments.
We are shattered.

Forgive us.
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