Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... and a professor of English at Montgomery College. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including Silver Birch Press, Cactifur, Of/with, bird's thumb, Truck, The Blue Mountain Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Two poems have received nominations for Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize respectively. Her first chapbook is available for free through Kind of a Hurricane Press at http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html . She hopes that you will consider sending work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: http://thesongis.blogspot.com/
August in Aspen Hill
Despite the coming storm, butterflies
flutter over the crape myrtle.
They touch on its flowers,
scarlet clusters, heavy in no wind
under the puffy, steel-gray sky.
The temperature drops, the last hour’s
stifling, sweating heat becoming
cool and chill. Yellow butterflies
hover like the last glint
of sunlight on dark leaves.
Walking after dinner, she shivers.
The wind is ruffling the trees.
It ought to be warmer
beneath this sky with only
scuffs of white clouds. She
shivers, drawing her sweater closer.
Spring is almost over. Solstice
approaches. She passes by
the catalpa, popcorn flowers tiny
next to giant leaves. White
dogwoods linger over red roses.
In the park, young cattails
and milkweed overwhelm the pond.
She cannot see beneath the surface.
Northern mockingbirds prepare for tonight.
They will make her believe
that two am is almost dawn.
Referring to food or cooking that incorporates elements
of diverse cultures. Standing at the fusion restaurant’s
window open to the rain pitting the broken sidewalk
on Florida Avenue, I think
about the meatballs my Irish-American grandmother
made. She placed a tiny bit of garlic on each globe,
then pushed it down to the center with her thumb,
then reshaped the globe. I wonder what
she would cook now in these evenings
of tofu tacos with peanut sauce,
of sweet potatoes and collard greens dotted
with sriracha and yogurt. I remember
Grandma’s lime jello mold salad
with pineapples, coconuts, mandarins, and
celery that she served at Thanksgiving
with turkey, sausage stuffing, and apple pies.