Two Poems by Elizabeth A. Frank

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.

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 ReviewHarbor 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.


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