Forgiveness                                                                             by Pat Daneman

Some things cannot be destroyed—
there is always a bit of ash in the seam 
of a pocket, a long hair on a pillow. A melody 
runs in circles looking for its words. 
In backstreet vapor, some shabby lady
or shady traveler can’t stop mumbling. 
Sometimes midnight is crowded—
dead teachers, vengeful cousins and neighbors 
whose parties outlived the night—
lights low, everyone dancing as you watched
from your bedroom window.
But the day comes for fresh air, empty hands, 
nowhere to go but for a walk into the woods 
as if back in time. The chatter is far away, 
the stream’s reflection stirred 
by rising minnows and falling leaves. 
The trees cannot be asked to stop telling lies, 
the sky not to turn. A winter bird sends its one note 
into the clouds, sound of a hammer striking cold steel, 
saying now, over and over.

Pat Daneman’s recent poetry appears in Atlanta Review, Freshwater, Bryant Literary Review, and Typehouse. Her collection, After All (FutureCycle Press 2018), was first runner-up, 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and finalist, Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She is author of a chapbook, Where the World Begins. For more, visit

Guest editor, 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 and Flint Hills Review. 


One thought on “Forgiveness                                                                             by Pat Daneman

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