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Gladiators: Flash Fiction by John C. Mannone
Pigeons in the Park: Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Kitsy: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
the look of legs: Poem by Meg Baird
Mike's 80th Birthday: Poem by Elizabeth Zelvin
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Magazine Sestina: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Been Down So Low, It Now Sounds Great: Poem by Bradford Middleton
the burnt globe and the pregnancy: Poem by Partha Sarkar
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Larry, Moe, and Me: Poem by Craig Kirchner
I Live the Life I Chose: Poem by Richelle Slota
Death House: Poem by Richelle Slota
he died of cancer: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
Night: Poem by Wayne F. Burke
and they are prancing: Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
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Why is the Sky Cerulean?: Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Awakening: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Swirling in the Chaos: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Moira: Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Midnight Molt: Poem by Michael Keshigian
Moments Before Awakening: Poem by Michael Keshigian
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Elizabeth Zelvin: Mike's 80th Birthday

103_ym_mikes80thbirthday_bernie.jpg
Art by Bernice Holtzman 2024

 

MIKE'S 80TH BIRTHDAY

 

Elizabeth Zelvin

 

 

we were eleven, he was my first crush

the best-looking boy in seventh grade

his father was a fireman

exotic in the eyes of Jewish kids

 

by twelve or thirteen, all the girls were taller

we were budding into women                                           

all the boys could think about was baseball

fifty years later, when we all meet again

he confesses he was bewildered by the girls’ advances

What do they want? he asked his mom

 

grown up, Mike’s the quintessential family man  

good at making money, been in therapy

deep as the Ohio River flowing past his door

from his stoop he can see the Great American Ball Park

beyond the river on the Cincinnati shore

the Reds are playing but he still hears Brooklyn

in the thwack of bat on ball

hitting homers high as dreams

 

he shuts out Kentucky every time he goes inside

turns on a symphony or opera very loud

he's got work to do, books to read, places to fly

a lot of people to keep happy

he does it well, as he does everything

 

when Big Mike turns 80, five birthday parties

can barely contain the festivities

so many people want to celebrate

now a great-grandpa, white-haired and portly

he leans on a cane, well-lubricated as he spins

his stories and gets a born raconteur's laughs

 

how cool is it to be 80 myself and sassy

no agonies of shyness, no regrets

Hey, Mike! I say, you were my very first

crush, and you're still adorable

 

 

Elizabeth Zelvin is the author of two books of poetry, I Am the Daughter (1981) and Gifts and Secrets (1999), and recipient of a CAPS award from the New York State Council on the Arts. During the Second Wave of the women's movement, her work was widely published in such journals as 13th Moon, Heresies, and the anthology Sarah's Daughters Sing. Recent poems have appeared in Yellow Mama as well as in anthologies of work about COVID and in support of Ukraine. Liz also writes short and long form fiction, including the Bruce Kohler Mysteries and the Mendoza Family Saga.

 

Elizabeth Zelvin, multiple Derringer & Agatha awards nominee  

The Bruce Kohler Mysteries

The Mendoza Family Saga

http://elizabethzelvin.com

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. She is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2024