At sundown in July, sisters pedal bikes

to the corner store for Jolly Ranchers

and Sweet Tarts.

Boys deal hands of Rummy 500,

shoot bottle rockets in vacant lots.

Women in housedresses don’t need

to keep lists – there is plenty of time

between whipping meringue

and hanging jeans on the line

to get to it all.

Ten-year-old Marley orphaned

last winter asks you (behind one

sweaty cupped palm) to make

Uncle Kevin stop lifting the sheet

after she has fallen asleep –


and will you when he coaches

your son’s Little League, chairs

the Common Council, employs

half the town?




Shoshauna Shy‘s poetry has recently been published courtesy of IthacaLit, Hartskill Review, RHINO, Gulf Stream and Sliver of Stone. She has flash fiction in the public arena or slated to appear thanks to A Quiet Courage, 100 Word Story, Fiction Southeast, Literary Orphans, Sou’wester and Prairie Wolf Press Review.