Black Petals Issue #104, Summer 2023

Editor's Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Question of Money: Fiction by Eric Burbridge
Behold, a White Horse; Fiction by Spencer Jepma
Crawling Flesh: Fiction by Michael Stoll
Elm Weaver: N. G. Leonetti
Hunger: Fiction by Mark Jabaut
Mr. Fuzzypants: Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Stop the World: Fiction by Roy Dorman
The Road Less Taken: Fiction by Albert N. Katz
The Washer Woman: Fiction by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
Underneath the Sheet: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Shining Up Grandma: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
The Children of 666 Middle School: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Bleed: Flash Fiction by Liam Spinage
Good Times: Flash Fiction by Ronin Fox
Time Lost: Flash Fiction by Bruce Costello
Unhappy Shadow: Flash Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Cemetery Road: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
Chasing Desolation: Poem by Joseph V. Danoski
Detroit Jurassic: Poem by Joseph V. Donaski
Colonia Somnia: Poem by Bianca Alu-Marr
The Precipice: Poem by Bianca Alu-Marr
Dread: Poem by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
Home Movies: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Peppermint Twist: Poem by Christopher Hivner
There's Always Tomorrow Night: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Joke: Poem by DJ Tyrer
Ceramic Duck: Poem by Pete Mladinic
Choice: Poem by Pete Mladinic
To Stop the Killing: Poem by Pete Mladinic
Reaper: Poem by David Barber

Pete Mladinic: Ceramic Duck

Ceramic Duck


Pete Mladinic


Everybody says forgiveness.

Resentment came to mind,

then clumsiness. A reward for spilling,

for knocking over things. It’s

good, clumsy. The ceramic duck

whose orange bill you chipped

when you knocked it off the sill,

if it Thanked you would say I lived whole

since the 1953 day I came from the kiln

down the block, into your mother’s hands,

a gift, the black scroll on my yellow breast

Billy, you, her first born. I’m dusty,

A white chip in my bill as much part of me

as green wings forever spread,

and orange webs of my feet.

What’s done..forget fixing me.

Then there’s resentment. Joe

felt nothing you gather, the day

you stumbled on the swan, long neck

splintered, as if broke by knocks of a stone.

Talk about ugly, cruelty’s aftermath

in a green plot of lawn, back

from a brown river, the splinters,

the swan deader than dead, the nothing

you gather in your arms, Joe

dead in a car wreck before his 21st year

leans as you lean over the dead thing.

Peter Mladinic’s fifth book of poems, Voices from the Past, is forthcoming from Better Than Starbucks Publications.

An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, USA.

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