West of Here — By Lisa Hase-Jackson

I wake in my mother’s guest bedroom

beneath stormy skies and diminishing rain


that so often characterize mid-summer

in Kansas City. It is the first of July.


Outside, varied configurations of limestone

homes & tree-canopied walks,


welcome me as if I belong here,

if only for the morning, as surely as the walnut
tree in front & the crack in the sidewalk

gaining prominence each year I visit. Tomorrow


I’ll travel west across prairies dotted

with round bales & abandoned farmhouses
past ditches peppered with wildflowers,

botanical names lost to a former self, a vague past.


Friends wait in Topeka, restless with resentment

or divorcing. I go to visit David, dying


of liver failure, a gift from the Goodyear plant

to supplement his early, if brief, retirement.

~ Lisa Hase-Jackson


Lisa Hase-Jackson earned her M.A. in English from Kansas State University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her award winning poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, anthologies, and online magazines including The Midwest Quarterly, Kansas City Voices, Kansas Time and Place, Fall Lines, Sin Fronteras, and is forthcoming in I-70 Review. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised primarily in the Midwest, Lisa is a traveler at heart and has spent her adult years living and writing in such locations as Anyang, South Korea, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Spoleto, Italy. Her current perch is Charleston, South Carolina where she teaches Introduction to Poetry and Honors English at the College of Charleston. Lisa is managing editor for ZingaraPoet.net and 200 New Mexico Poems, a project she initiated while living in Albuquerque.

Izzy Wasserstein is a Lecturer in English at Washburn University. Izzy is the author of the poetry collection This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, and has published in Crab Orchard Review, Flint Hills Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Izzy shares a home with Nora E. Derrington, a cat, and three dogs, and believes in the power of resistance.


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