Just Getting Started We are rubbing our hands together like sticks, we are pacing the room, we are breathing in sputters, in gusts, never sure if the words in our heart will form sparks when we speak or fall flat and mute to the floor. We are summoning the boldness to stand out loud, to leave our shelter (there’s no risk of being extinguished if you’ve never burned alight). We are stumbling in the dark proclaiming with each small step we are worth this time and the courage we clench in our fists. We are fighting what is, struggling toward what may be, knowing we hold the power to become a flame, our voices strong and soft enough to sing this glint into fire.
Womanifesto I am not your hot-house orchid pink, feathery, propped on stakes. I am no longer easy to crush or ignore. I am a thick oak limbs sky-high, endless roots buried deep. I am the sky, streaked with moods and shades vast with blue. I am all the birds calling out forests of anger and joy. I can not be held in your hand, shoved in your stiff pocket. I am no longer small or still or soft enough. I am no longer your little girl.
Elizabeth A. Frank is a poet and artist drawn to the interplay of written and visual arts. Her poems have appeared in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing and This Present Former Glory: An Anthology of Honest Spiritual Literature. She posts on Instagram @glint_into_fire and lives near Boston.
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 chapbook prize is named in her honor. She expects her next collection, The Book of Stolen Images (Meadowlark) to be out in a few months.