Remove your wind chimes and bells, anything that cries or rings when the wind blows. Fix your gate too. It should move without sound —strong and quiet like fathers and doors, mothers and windows. Remove your scarecrow. All these miles across Kansas, and I haven’t seen one, but bottle trees are easy—blue, green, brown—they spin. Spread shelled peanuts, scrape your pots and beat them with a spoon. Know shiny things will scare them. Watch from a window and spell out bird on a typewriter that’s been moved further and further from where it used to be. I spell out a name. Each bend, touch, click, a reminder you’re not here. There’s different ways to call them. Some use whistles. Others cup their hands together and bring them to their mouths and press lips tightly against— the same way you first pulled me close—the day we found out who we really were.
Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, sons, and daughter.
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 as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review. Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.