Sword Fern

Sword Fern  by Nancy Schatz Alton I am shimmering toward newness swept full green into the unknown body. I am no longer my old self. If you were here sunlight would change how you see me. I’m brighter now I mean I’m still bogged down by life’s expiration date dark as they come with dyed […]

Ice-Skating Lessons

Ice-Skating Lessons  by Nancy Schatz Alton One of the twelve truths I can explain is how her bangs* wouldn’t feather the right way her hairs always fell back to rest in a straight line above brown glasses. Her feather-light tresses fell straight down her glasses made a gateway for her ears that always listened for […]

Another morning here

Allergies or cold? Who knows? All I know is I prop my pillows & catch whatever sleep I can & when I wake & have to stand up make lunches & squeeze my youngest awake standing up stops the flow & I breathe while wanting to sleep while wanting all my dreams to have already […]

You must remember this

Lines of poems live in my head— If I must remember everything— this will stand for grief— the moment of change is the only poem— yet I woke this morning thinking of memories that do not change: the ice rink, the swings, the monkey bars, the climbing trees, the playground ponies, your backyard house, the […]

Dish Duty

I keep going back to how doing the dishes makes me feel warm, alive, full of purpose & moving forward, my placement: correct. Give me the colon: exact directions to save me from worry A dirty kitchen to clean, one task after another until I forget destiny.   Warm, alive, full of purpose & moving […]

Love Day

Love is in the coffee every single morning. It’s in the way my eldest asks me, “How was your day?” And it’s how my youngest stays with hugs for the longest time. It’s all those texts returned from friends during the witching hour. The witching hour can happen any time of every day and night. […]


Mine  by Nancy Schatz Alton I have a body and a mind: it is mine. It’s mine to redden: I am blush all over. I’m the tart lemon I squeeze into my mouth after I dress the green avocado. I’m the sum of everything that came before & I often can’t decide what will come […]


I can’t get enough of endings last phone calls & letters friends I’ll never converse with again fixed places in my memory’s strong box newness never interferes until white invites me in expected snow, her scenery soft green boughs shift with the weight of her water a plane’s engine churns overhead my husband says, “Oh […]

Want Is Loud

Want Is Loud*  by Nancy Schatz Alton “It’s good to want. It builds character.” Ben Bauermeister I’ve come here from want—the blue stone pulsing in bright yellow light. I’ve come here from hills that I now call slopes, from anger and love, fear & sweetness, from every emotion you can name, and I’ve come here […]