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Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas/The Orchards Poetry Journal

CarolLynnCarol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University where she was an English major. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee, a five-time Best of the Net nominee and the author of the following collections of poetry: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, March Street Press, Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, Letters Under the Banyan Tree and The Wanderer’s Dominion, Aldrich Press, Breakfast in Winter, Flutter Press, along with several chapbooks, Litany of Finger Prayers, Pudding House Press, Object of Desire, Finishing Line Press, A Thousand Tiny Sorrows, March Street Press, The Butterfly Room, Big Table Books, The Nightly Suicides, Kattywompus Press, Things I Can’t Remember to Forget, Prolific Press, and the winning chapbook in The Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, Before I Go to Sleep, along with her latest collections slated for publication this year with Main Street Rag, An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium and In the Making of Goodbyes, Clare Songbird Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online, print magazines and anthologies, including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Poets and Artists, War, Literature and the Arts. She is the Assistant Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal and a member of the Sacramento group of poets called Writers on Air. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Because It’s Easy to be Sad about Anything

My mother always said she liked the nakedness
of bare feet the vulnerability of her sole

walking across grass. The idea of shoes
waiting empty and unused in a closet.

But after she died, I saved her favorite heels,
stuck them in a laundry room drawer

and forgot they were there, until I was
searching for something I’d lost. And

I’m sorry now, that I didn’t bury her
in those shoes, that I found them while

looking for a mislaid thing, which made me
miss her even more, which made me see

her shoes a little differently, as if they were
there to remind me that she was off somewhere

without me, without her favorite shoes,
walking alone, walking barefoot

across grass.

On my Way to the Apocalypse

A funny thing happened on my way
to the apocalypse; I thought about
all my misdeeds and the need
for black cardigans on drafty days
as the winds picked up around me.

I heard Boz Scaggs singing, “brother
can you spare a dime,” and thought how
out of date that song was now,
but it was a relief to know the end
was coming. Years of worrying about

the unimaginable and the constant
hoarding of doomsday propaganda,
I clutched my tiny survival manual.
I watched the ocean fill with fire
and the sky empty of birds. I heard

screams and watched people become
angels with opened wings wearing masks.
I wanted to dial 911, I wanted call my mom,
curl up in bed. Pray there’d be another day.
But instead I walked among the dead,

over broken bottles and loaded guns,
over maps and disaster packs, dried food
and bibles. Where was god when you really
need him, when he’s supposed to make his long
anticipated appearance. I had my list

ready, my rosary in my jeans pocket,
my answers memorized in case he asked
me to explain a few mishaps here and there.
I hoped he would have a sense of humor
and after all the hoopla was over

a soft place to lay my body down, rest
my head watch the next episode
of The Walking Dead,
see how it all turns out
in the end.

The Orchards Poetry Journal


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