Featured Contributors Spring/Summer 2014
Top Row: Left to right, Ashley Dioses, Peycho Kanev, Stella Santamaria,
Craig A. Hart, Mark Burchard, Venger As'Nas Satanis
Bottom Row: Left to right, G. David Schwartz, Anthony J. Langford,
Richard Hartwell, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino
Featured Artist:Tomasz Wieja
A CALENDAR IN SOIL AND SHED
by John Grey
*Any Night* by Peggy Carter
Counting Bodies by Rebecca Freeh
Fluoride for the road by Tom Pescatore
Folding Dirty Laundry by Colleen Colkitt
Forget Me Not by Kenneth Wortendyke, Jr
"I've been diagnosed..." by Jan Spence
No Fixer-Uper by Jeff Bernstein
One Eyeball by David Lawrence
Sonnet for K by Charles Byrne
The City Cemetery by John Sibley Williams
Wicked Funeral by Michael O' Connor
THE PIG AND THEPROSELYTIZER
by Dennis Vanvick
Current Issue: Spring/Summer 2014
Next issue availble October 2014
Cover Art (Dead End Collective) by Niall Parkinson
The Stray Branch
Publishing poetry, fiction, art and
photography since 2008.
Founder/Editor: Debbie Berk
"All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud,
fear, greed, imagination, and poetry." -Edgar Allan Poe
Site banner, design and layout by Debbie Berk
by Allison Meraz
Image © http://www.123rf.com
When you are dead and parted out
perhaps we’ll meet
in the black forgiving earth.
All is forgiven
for family, their missing teeth
and eyes. Are you surprised?
Loves stay the same in afterlife
like maggots in amber.
They await the second coming
of fresh death and clamor
what was it like for you?
Did the cat act strange,
was your left arm numb?
But all is forgiven now.
welcome home, soul.
You, who hocked that ring
for Vegas, forgiven.
Wishing me dead
for the money, the criticism,
forgiven. As a child,
the new-formed frogs
you stomped to jelly
by the dozens—they know.
But the heart you gave up
is sufficient partial payment.
For now, forgiven.
Allison holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. A Pushcart Prize nominee and former poetry editor for the Sonora Review, her work has appeared in various publications, including Quarterly West and Faultline. She lives inSacramento, California.
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