Poems from Deana Nantz

Mean Beak

Bringing food for my

husband but none for me,

my mother-in-law is a foil

to my mindful mater

who feeds us both.

Sitting crooked

in a dining room

that I paid for,

they eat store-bought sushi

and smile like wicked cats

swallowing sentient birds.

I’m hurt but thankful

for the fridge in my house

because if I lived in his,

I’d be unnourished

and naked in a chamber

where my bones

are picked over

and over

by cruel



consumers of soul.

Heavy Mirrors

A mother sparrow killed herself with the door.

Beckoned by light or some other confusion,




her beak after a blunt smack. I scooped her up

and dumped her in the mum-filled flower pot,

the best I could do for a fall funeral.

Glass doors and steep stairs could kill a mother and infant.

What a nightmare to drop a child. So we added a bottom suite

for safety. Clichéd as the saying, “don’t put the cart before

the horse,” we put the nursery before the baby.

Because we conceived once, didn’t mean we would again.

A reflection of a cloud doesn’t mean sky.

Waiting on you made a fool out of me. Your almost daddy left,

unable to handle the empty space where I stand looking into

one of the mirrors above the his and hers sink. I’d rather

smash my face than gaze too long.

Yes, we birds are fragile—apt to choke on worms

intended to feed our young.

Copper Isn't Gold

Do you remember the growing stain

in the laundry room ceiling?

You never liked the tub’s piping,

corroded copper too tedious

to repair in a room upstairs

out of your bounds.

Wedding vows oozed off our tongues

and turned to steam. So much

for a sand ceremony.

Plaster cracked above our heads.

You replaced the pipe

and ignored the dam.

The plumbing works,

but the hole is there.

About Deana Nantz

Deana Nantz holds an MA in American literature and an MFA from Eastern Kentucky University's Blue Grass Writer's Studio. Her chapbook, Fits of Wrath of Irony, is available through Finishing Line Press. The Voices Project and Southern Women's Review featured her poetry and her fiction has appeared in Fiction Southeast (finalist for the Editor's Prize) Night Train, Fiddleblack, Funny in 500, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and other literary journals.


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