Tag Archives: Rappahannock Review

“Stray Cat” by Jenny McBride

Victoria park
where I was running
the ducks at water’s edge suddenly running too
and in the empty space of their wake
a tattered cat.
I called him on his hunting
and he meowed, ran after me
hungry, lonely, being eaten alive by the city
but I ran to lose him
not because I don’t love cats
or didn’t want to rescue his painful life
but because I was far from home in a conference hotel.
Was it the same
with the men I approached
when I was young and lonely?
I always took it personally
but maybe they were just figures rendered useless
in the scheme of things
on the day my heart was warming
and years later
they paused to scratch out an excuse.

Jenny McBride’s writing has appeared in Common Ground Review, Rappahannock Review, The California Quarterly, Conclave, Tidal Echoes, Streetwise, and other publications. She makes her home in the rainforest of southeast Alaska.

“Consolations after a Birth” by Beth Sherman

My books are sniping at one another
Hurling accusations concerning inaccurate information
On blood sugar and forceps.
Later on in the week I will make a bonfire
In the kitchen and scald their flapping tongues.
A mobile over the crib jiggles uncertainly.
The yellow bunny sneers at the spotted cow.
It knows nothing of midwives. Quaint word
From a simpler time when mothers died
With rags stuffed in their mouths to muffle the screaming.
I’ve discovered that I don’t need God.
A gazelle sleeps beside me.
I can feel its fur choking my breath,
I can taste the grass on its hind legs,
Alone in this angry house.

Beth Sherman received an MFA in creative writing from Queens College, where she teaches in the English department. Her fiction has been published in The Portland Review, Sandy River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Gloom Cupboard and is forthcoming in Delmarva Review and Rappahannock Review. Her poetry has been published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Hartskill Review, Lime Hawk, Synecdoche, Gyroscope and The Evansville Review, which nominated her poem, “Minor Planets” for a Pushcart Prize this year.