by Laura Lee Beasley

Of our dying, remember how our eyes
followed the TV’s bright flicker,
a glinting spoon of Jell-O—
for the body is a frozen lake
but filled with amber-scaled carp
risen to the sun-warm surface.
From our stroke-stiffened mouths
and clenched hands, turn the way
you did as a child from the shortest day
in December to cut newspaper into
snowflakes. Remember how you hung
them in a window and twisted each one
so circles of light spun down your wrists.

by Laura Lee Beasley

Like a map of rivers,
it spread through his veins
in quivering sprays,
like the growth of tree limbs,
like rain in the crack of a sidewalk.
And I felt it too, that sudden spark,
that familiar nervous thump.
I watched his drooped head
tilted to the right of the clean,
white-sheeted hospital bed.
It surged through my arms,
my legs, into the tips
of my fingers, my lips,
the dark corners of my eyes.

by Laura Lee Beasley

I asked why you wore him
around your neck.
We’re not even Catholic.
And he’s the saint of despair,
so the green of his sash
can’t be the green of Venus,
can’t be the malachite Egyptians
ground to paint water lily leaves.
But three weeks into chemo,
when organ failure tints your skin,
I understand why you hold onto him.
He is clothed in a promise to the lost.
A far off spring is all he has to offer.
And I know you will take it.


Laura Lee Beasley recently completed her Ph.D. in Creative
Writing, Poetry at Georgia State University.  She has worked as
an assistant editor at
Five Points-A Journal of Art & Literature
and as the poetry editor of New South.  She is currently an
instructor of English at the University of West Georgia and a
copyeditor for St. Martin’s Press.  Among other publications, her
poems have appeared in the
Texas Observer, the Silk Road
, and in Time You Let Me In, an anthology published by
HarperCollins and edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 9, Number 2
(Fall 2014)

Copyright © 2014
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.