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by Shannon Connor Winward

June is living on without you,
wet with mist and wanting open
the fruit of too-long winter still small
and tight against the vine.
The plans I made in tatters, our tomorrows
woven in my lap
to swaddle daughters
it doesn’t take a husband to make a life.
Hope is kicking in my belly, blood singing in my womb
I can give myself to long, warm nights.
July has been weeping for us
stars drawn up behind pinked clouds
but Mars is brushing against the Earth
nearer than fifty-thousand years.*
This pain of children breaks your composure
my heart aches like an old battle wound.
Magic is going to happen
the planets know it, and so do I.
August is moving on without you, and I think,
my darling, I am going, too.

* * *
 *On August 27, 2003, Earth and Mars converged at a distance of 56 million km – the closest perihelic opposition since Earth’s prehistory.

* * *

Shannon Connor Winward is an author of literary and speculative fiction and poetry. Her writing has appeared in Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Eternal Haunted Summer, and Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, among others, and was  awarded Honorable Mention for the 2014 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artist Fellowship.  Her first chapbook, UNDOING WINTER, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in June, 2014.

Where do you get the ideas for your poems?

Ideas for poetry come from all kinds of places.  Many of mine are discovered in dreams, or in myths that resonate with what I'm going through.  Others are born from challenges, such as wanting to write a poem in a particular form, or to a certain theme.  It's important to always be open to inspiration - and if inspiration is slow in coming, to go out and look for it.