Symbolon—Poetry Class in Quarantine                             by Morgan O.H. McCune 

We were always in pieces, but had been  
keeping up the illusion a classroom   
can invent, boxing us sharply together.  
In Greece, people would take a share  
of the whole on their journeys so   
they would know one another again,  
pieces newly joined. I see my classmates   
on a screen and in my mind, I offer   
each a gift, so we might know one another  
at another time, at some other time.  
Choose your own portion.  Here  
is a ribbon, green for healing, growth.  
Here is a bright, white-handled knife,   
cutting away the unwanted. Here a dog,   
softly whining and faithful, tender   
as a fawn. One of you sound the skin   
of this bold drum. One of you reach   
for wild violet in the spring grass.  
I am circling with light steps  
on this field, so these pieces may join.  
I am circling the squares on the computer   
screen with my fingers as you speak.  
I am circling to help join   
us, whole and unbound.  

Morgan O.H. McCune currently works at Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas. She is a native Kansan, and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and an M.L.S. from Emporia State University (2002). Her poems have been published previously in River Styx.  

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals asTheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review.  Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.  


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