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With This Ring: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Wheelie: Fiction by KM Rockwood
Contents Undisclosed: Fiction by Rebecca Holtzman
Here's Looking at You: Fiction by Victoria Weisfeld
Girl of My Dreams: Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Jet Fuel: Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Princess of the Silent Kingdom: Fiction by Fred Zackel
Relationship Status: Fiction by Greta T. Bates
A Dish Best Served Cold: Fiction by Shari Held
The Face in the Tree: Fiction by Joan Leotta
Shower Scene: Fiction by Ben Newell
The Dreary Detective: Fiction by E.E. Williams
Deadly Meating: Flash Fiction by Jacob Graysol
Full, From the Grave: Flash Fiction by Craig Kirchner
Leave Me Alone: Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Free Key Day: Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
The Night the Monster Came: Flash Fiction by Tim Tobin
Some Things That I Learned in the Army: Poem by Richelle Slota
Double Negatives: Poem by RC Potter
Bird of Night: Poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Last Night: poem by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal
Poem for an Ex: Poem by John Grey
His Gallery: Poem by John Grey
Beachwood Canyon: Poem by Damon Hubbs
Stick Horses: Poem by Damon Hubbs
she blew me a kiss: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
so much in common: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
After I Turned 40: Poem by Richard LeDue
The Alarm Clock: Poem by Richard LeDue
Sentimental Love Poems Shown to No One: Poem by Richard LeDue
The Children: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
The Deadly Shoes: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
The Sands of Inanna: Poem by Dawn L. C. Miller
Angelic: Poem by John Short
Robophobe: Poem by John Short
Worry Beads: Poem by John Short
not even Baudelaire: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Dream Doctor: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Neon Poem: Poem by Craig Kirchner
Another Chapter in Life:Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
The Same Old Story: Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
to bury a curious girl: Poem by Amirah Al Wassif
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Strange Gardens
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Dawn L. C. Miller: The Children

Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2024

The Children

by Dawn L. C. Miller


My mother lost a child,

before she claimed me

by refusing to let me go

until I was born.


A year or so before me, she bled in pain, not understanding

what soft betrayal her body could not do.

As she bent with cramping bleeds on the toilet

she must have felt so alone. 


She told me she sat and moaned and bled until something gushed.

She told me that as she fainted to the floor, she reached to flush

and so, she never knew if I would have had a sister or a brother.

Forgiveness for that flush never came.


I never had that pain, but I had confusion.

Our decision was wisely made, involving

our budget and our two happy children

who filled our lives with busyness.


We would tie the tubes. And this time I was not on the table.

But as I waited in the lobby for his procedure to be done

I heard in my heart’s ears a voice say “mommy, fight for me!”

and I knew something that is not supposed to be:


one’s truest feelings can find a voice.

I made a fool of myself, searching in the corridors

for my husband, to call a stop to the procedure. 

I did not find him. It was done. Forgiveness never came.

I still remember, sometimes, that small voice and wonder what if.


One last child did not come to us:  my daughter’s pain. 

But that is not my story to tell.

Mother power is strong,

forgiveness is weak.


Art by Bernice Holtzman © 2024

Dawn L. C. Miller holds an MA degree from Washington College, Chestertown, MD.  Her work has been published in The Bluebird Word, Poetic Hours and by Hopeworks.  Her self-published collections include Illuminations and Out of the Basement.  A resident of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, she daily witnesses the effects of human intervention on the forests and marshlands she loves.

Bernice Holtzman’s paintings and collages have appeared in shows at various venues in Manhattan, including the Back Fence in Greenwich Village, the Producer’s Club, the Black Door Gallery on W. 26th St., and one other place she can’t remember, but it was in a basement, and she was well received.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications © 2024