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Glen Armstrong/Cruel Garters


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cream City Review.

Wiffle Ball

Who is the most

spiritual amongst us?

That’s a tough one.
I was raised on the stuff.
I can shake

my tambourine
with the best of them,

but I get why
others might contemplate

rivers that unravel

like snagged hems
of ancient wedding

dresses or calculate
the chances of life

on a frigid planet.

I get why the children
play wiffle ball

in the churchyard
every Saturday evening
until the sun sets

and tints the clouds some
color perfect for an as yet
undiscovered soda pop.


And then it comes walking
sideways down the street
like a broken dog
not love,

but a gush of confusion
that might lead to love
if it doesn’t lead
to more confusion first.

Curse it or poke it with a stick.

Not quick enough.

It’s already inside you.
And then it blooms
like a wildflower.

Soon, an actual broken dog
is sniffing the hem of your dress.

Soon, the thistle is blooming
for you and the King
of Stink Bug Street.

Children sing songs about you
that intrigue their younger siblings.

Cruel Garters:

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