Author: Nancy Priff

She finds herself against a reddening floor
as hard as the fist that put her there.
A chair is overturned, legs at odd angles,
the cracked china scattered
like a million broken moons.

Her flesh swelling in round ripe plums,
the sudden fruiting shakes her.
She considers the juice staining her robe,
the wreath of pain around her head,
the feet where tangled roots had been.

 

*This poem previously appeared in Kaleidowhirl, volume 3, issue 2, Spring 2006. (ISSN: 1550-6088)

 

Contributor’s Notes: Nancy Priff has been published in Ruminate Magazine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Kaleidowhirl, and The Writer’s Chronicle as well as in several anthologies. She holds an M.F.A from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has received a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

 

At halftime, the Warriors’ captain takes stock.

Bruises bloom on her best forward,

a midfielder is streaked in mud

as thick as her shin guard, the captain spits

dust and hikes her kilt to bandage a gash.

Across the roughed-up field,
the Panthers strut, raising red plastic cups
and celebrating as if they’ve already won—
reedy girls, full of speed maybe,
but no fight.

………………………………Yes, fight.
The captain clacks her stick on the forward’s.
Fight.
Their sticks beat in rhythm on the halfbacks’.
Fight.
The rest soon raise the chant.
Fight, Warriors. Fight!

The captain turns them loose on the field.
When the forward gets the passback,
they charge to the striking circle.
Sticks jab and swing. Feet pound
downfield, the ground rumbling under them.

Again and again, they attack
till their rivals—the win
slapshot out of them—are broken.
At the final whistle, the Warriors dance
and flex their brutal beauty.

 

Contributor’s Notes: Nancy Priff has been published in Ruminate Magazine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Kaleidowhirl, and The Writer’s Chronicle as well as in several anthologies. She holds an M.F.A from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has received a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

 

for Persephone

 

This day that splits the year in two tips the balance:
light to dark. Shadows rise early in this season. By
the thin morning light, each day’s shade wakes
graver than the last.

……………..I cannot follow the sun
like a bird. I’m bound to one who loves the world
dark. Now I want a hundred lamps—a thousand lamps!—
to light the day.

……………..I tunnel upward in secret.
Handful by slow handful, I press past the slumbering worms.

 

*This poem previously appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, volume 6, issue 1, June 2013. (ISSN 1941-4137).

 

Contributor’s Notes: Nancy Priff has been published in Ruminate Magazine, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Kaleidowhirl, and The Writer’s Chronicle as well as in several anthologies. She holds an M.F.A from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has received a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.