Two Poems by Pat Daneman

Thanksgiving Morning in the Park
I’ll be having the sunrise this morning,
with a side of clouds blue as mussel shells.
I’ll breathe in the extravagant steam
from the pond’s cauldron,
redolent of algae and rot, peppered
with last night’s rain. The geese
are complaining, always unhappy
customers. But I sit on my bench with a patience
that feels sated, surrounded by good company—
men who bend to share scraps with their dogs,
mothers who speak slowly
to their children about manners.
The Work of Night Weather
Morning reveals what happens overnight—a rose a fraction farther
up a fence, cities sinking. My skin has been soaking up sun and rain
for decades, an old coat that I shake out and smooth around my bones.
Change creeps—a sparrow with a new edge in its chirp, a yellow petal
fallen. The sea has lost the fight with its yearning for the land, but can’t stop
repeating its cold opinions. I can bear it—I won’t outlive the end—
a fence gone gray but not yet fallen, a grove of maples giving up
seeds to the wind, the wind breaking apart against rocks.

Pat Daneman’s poetry is published or forthcoming in Poet’s Touchstone, Lakeshore Review, Gyroscope and Wild Roof. Her full-length collection, After All, was first runner up for the 2019 Thorpe-Menn Award and a finalist for the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award. She is author of a chapbook, Where the World Begins and co-librettist of the oratorio, We, the Unknown, premiered by the Heartland Men’s Chorus. She lives in Candia, NH.

Guest Editor, Morgan O.H. McCune is a native Kansan and now lives in Topeka. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (2002). She was a Cataloging Librarian/Professor at Pittsburg State University for 15 years before retiring in 2022.