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Volume I, Number 2 (Summer 2007)
ISSN 1934-4324

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NEW-CUE, Inc. is a non-profit, environmental education organization founded primarily to assist writers and educators who are dedicated to  enhancing  the public's awareness of environmental issues.




Grace Sheridan


Crackers and Milk


The farmer leans his rickety chair

back against the shed. The lilacs


are in bloom. The grass, like the hair

curling around his ears, needs a trim.


The beans are in. Pearly clouds scud

across the horizon. He studies


the tremor of the aspen trees.

A melody glides past his thoughts.


He can see her hands with a golden ring

flitting across the ivory keys,


her upper body swaying to the rhythm,

her left foot tapping out the time.


He tilts his head and turns it left

. . . . . .


He thinks he’ll fix crackers and milk

for supper - or maybe have nothing at all.

Now he can hear her sing.




On a rambling road far from the sterile

service shops of the brand-name dealers

with their uniformed mechanics and coffee

for the customers flipping through old magazines

and dreading to hear what else needs repair

at outrageous hourly rates, there’s a single-bay

garage where the owner has known his customers

longer than faded tar paper’s been fastened

to his shack with odds and ends of wood.


To the right as you face the overhead door,

a section of staging, a scarred red drum

and a dented five gallon bucket are leaning

in scraggly grass near bushes that meet in an arch

over a yellow backhoe scaled with rust

like the age spots scattered on Porter’s arms.


To the left, a cluster of worn-out batteries,

rimless tires propped against a plow and

a blue-tarped boat docked in a sea of daisies

are serenaded by birds in an overgrown apple tree.


Inside, above the hydraulic jack,

an open box of Friskies

sits at a tilt on the windowsill

and the men in grease-stained shirts

huddled under the hood are talking talk about

tattoos on women, why that valve is leaking oil,

the parts they can get from that wreck out back,

and cuffing each other on the arm

for “savin’ us dang near two hundred bucks”.




      after Giants by Jane Miller


The Deaconess Home in a stately Georgian building

has a generous lawn with hedges


on an elm-shaded street just out of the village center

and inside, by the windows shaded with brocade drapes,


about a dozen women,

having been domestic servants in the wealthiest homes of the town,


cautiously thread their way from upholstered chairs in the sitting room

to the long mahogany table.


Ethel promptly bows her head - she firmly believes this is required,

that daily poached eggs


deserve thanks - and would she had a relative - although

she has acquaintances here - and her Holy Bible - with verses


that she marks with a flutter of yellow ribbons

and faithfully carries close to her breast


like the photo of her parents she pins every day to her dress

then wraps in a long woolen coat to keep the three of them warm.







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