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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

82_ym_smalltownstory_amrhiel.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2020

Small Town Story

 

Harris Coverley

 

sat on the floor

the rough red carpet is the sands

at the base of the Rockies

(what does it matter that the Rockies don’t have sands?)

the white Artex wall is a Rocky cliff

and below are the shoe boxes

the hair colouring boxes

the crisp packet boxes

 

this is the little town

I have not yet christened

(and never will)

 

I have my little cars

not bigger than cigarette packets

in fact, some are cigarette packets

painted harshly in chunky green paint

purple too

mixed in the cellar

 

I am the ruler of this town

I can see the sheriff

the sheriff’s deputy

the other townsfolk

the couple who run the diner

 

but I am not yet six

I cannot give these people the pain

they would otherwise have in real life

I am not Stephen King

I am not Joyce Carol Oates

Nor am I Annie Proulx

 

I know nothing of race-hate

or wife-beating

or abortion

or class warfare

or degenerative conditions

 

these people (for now) have no pain

I do not wish to give them pain

there is enough of that in my life already

 

and I can be alone with them

in their placid state

for just a little longer

 

trying to keep that spark alight.

 

 

Harris Coverley is a Rhysling-nominated poet, with verse published or forthcoming in Star*LineSpectral RealmsNew Reader MagazineThe Oddville PressCorvus Review, and many others. He lives in Manchester, England.

Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020