Poetry » Alan Ferland »



The great maw
of the Egyptian god
closes on the twilight
horizon in the form
of many swollen
soft-edged teeth.

The gas station
off of Exit 4,
the entire town
of Putney, Vermont
and all the cars
on Interstate 91

are its next meal;
we are unable to outrun
the god’s throat
and it’s unhurried,
reptilian manner
of swallowing.

Coming out of the Box Store

In black boots
she stood in the drizzle,
her clothes just enough
to keep the chill
from seeping
into her bones.
The headphones
around her neck
had songs
by Hoobastank
or Finger Eleven
oozing out of them,
dark and slow
like molasses
off the spoon.

The cardboard sign
she held read:
looking for a ride.
It was placed
on the plaza median,
while she unwrapped
a treat for her canine friend,
an accomplice
on their journey
to nowhere.

All of a sudden,
my plate
doesn’t look
so bad.

Still Grieving

                From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
                Family (Noun): a group of individuals living
                    under one roof and usually under one head

For the sake of brevity,
they cut their losses
after two decades
with the dullest, rustiest
set of scissors
in the cupboard drawer.

What I am afraid
to say out loud,
and reveal to those
within earshot,
is that years have passed
and I am still sitting
in the room where
it all went down,
unable to let my emotions
cascade out of me
like everyone else
because I saw it coming
from several miles away
and boarded up my heart
tighter than a Floridian home,
waiting in vain for the impact.

I’m unsure
if I’ll ever have the strength
to get up and walk out.