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  volume 1. issue two  
A collection of poetry
by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

from Mongolian Art Exhibit

I turn a corner, stunned now by faces / on the wall—masks of deities, shamans, / in papier-mâché, carved wood, stuffed skin. / Black brows pull down over glaring eyes, / red mouths stretch in snarls or gentle smiles. (more...)
Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Isabelle Ghaneh
Todd Heldt
Pamela Miller
Joan Dy
Lina ramona Vitkauskas
Michelle Bitting
Arthur Joyce
Adrienne Lewis
Anne Durant
Kathryn Ugoretz
Cheryl Stiles
Ellaraine Lockie
Arlene Ang
Ellen Wade Beals
JeFF Stumpo
Lita Sorensen
Andrena Zawinski
Rebecca Clark
Jim Coppoc
Carly Sachs
Siri Steiner
Theodore Worozbyt
Hal Ackerman
Gretchen Skillman
Shawn Sargent
Rebecca Harper
Concetta Ceriello
Patrick Tucker
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I Google my name
by Ellen Wade Beals

and come up with yours—the exact reverse.
I think what if we went to school together,

what confusion there'd be at roll call:
Ellen Wade, Wade Ellen..

But you're older, a '51 baby,
a country boy from Rocky Mount, North

Carolina. And you're dead,
killed in action in 1972, when the chopper

you're co-piloting on a rescue mission
is hit by enemy fire and crashes

into a small island on the Dak Poko River.
When I think back to 1972

I see a high school sophomore
in a black-watch plaid skirt getting high

and I am ashamed
I didn't care enough about the war

that took your life.
But when I return to your death date,

April 23, 1972—could it have been Easter?
I can picture them stranded at the water tower

and imagine they wanted to signal
and you, navigating over

the northwestern edge of the Tanh Canh
base camp in Kontum Province,

wanted to save them.
But the enemy was waiting

That day was without resurrection in Florida too
where I was trying to escape the grief

of my Mother's death the month earlier,
consoling myself by piercing my ears,

eating peanut M&Ms, sleeping away
on a pull-out bed, and going

to a bar for the first time.
Smokey Robinson played.

I'd like to think my grief was for you too.
That somehow I knew, oceans away,

someone I shared something with
died. But that isn’t the care. Even now

I find you only when looking for myself.
I'm still that self-centered sophomore,

just a different self,
and you're dead now for some thirty years.

Then we were miles apart,
you weren't

even on my radar. But today I found you
just beyond the periphery,

and I want to wave, want to say
I am sorry and ask your forgiveness.

Third place winner of the 2004 Frieda Stein Fenster Contest
sponsored by www.chicagopoetry.com

Ellen Wade Beals has had poems published in literary magazines (After Hours, Ariel, Whiskey Island, Quercus, Willow Review ) and anthologies (Key West by Midnight Mind Press. Take Two—They’re Small and Family Gatherings by Outrider Press, and Kiss Me Goodnight by Syren Press) and has had short stories in Willow Springs Magazine (1999 fiction prize winner) and Rambunctious Review (3rd place 2001 fiction winner). In the fall of 2002, she was awarded a residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, Ireland, to begin work on a novel. Work is forthcoming in Moon Journal.
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