by Gail Peck

Once you are left
you are always left
a clock ticking backwards

you tried to crawl out the window
when your father packed his suitcase
and were pulled back
you opened the door
and ran after the car until breathless

Why does the sound of a train whistle
not make you sad when one
took your mother away for months

Perhaps because your grandmother
The Lonesome Railroad Blues
on her harmonica and the dog danced

The calendar nailed to the wall
turned one month over another
until winter was gone

Daffodils bloomed     the dogwood
reopened Christ’s wounds

Curious girl who gathered flowers
from fields and pulled petals
from daisies—he loves me, he . . .


Gail Peck is the author of nine books.  Her first full-length
collection of poetry,
Drop Zone, won the Texas Review Southern
and Southwestern Poets Breakthrough Award and was published
by Texas Review Press;
The Braided Light, published by Main
Street Rag, won the 2014 Lena Shull Book Contest from the
North Carolina Poetry Society.  Peck’s latest collection, a
chapbook, is titled
An Instant Out of Time and is available from
Finishing Line Press.  Poems and essays have appeared in
Southern Review, Nimrod, Greensboro Review, Brevity,
Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Comstock Review,
and elsewhere.   

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 15, Number 1
(Spring 2020)

Copyright © 2020
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

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