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Issue 4.2

Summer 2024

Donna Isaac


Dream imagery, feelings, glimpses of the natural world, fear, and lack of control—all are present in the tercets of "Tightrope." Both physical and mental paralysis haunt the lines. Fairy tales of my youth are present in the wolf and the gingerbread man, menacing like the healing, yet harmful, medicine I am given.

Tightrope: After Chemo


yellow mums

like tarnished spoons

dip the moon


deep down numb

the veins and feet

knee-deep drifts the way


beastly flit of brush wolf

frozen mudprints skulk

stars tarry, some fly


uncurling leaves broken gingerbread men

glued into river silt

pathway into dropoff flounder


for-ever feels halfway

gulp of surface air

brambles, holes to catch


stumble rock the way

vanishing point this lane

caverns of the red mind

Poet Donna Isaac is a teaching artist/organizer of community literary events through the League of MN Poets. She has a B.A.  (James Madison University); an M.A. (University of Minnesota); and an M.F.A. (Hamline University.)  A new book of poems by Finishing Line Press, In the Tilling, is forthcoming in 2025.

Donna's Book Recommendations

A Rather Haunted Life: Ruth Franklin

Collected Poems: Louis Jenkins

Little River of Amazements: Mary Kay Rummel

Let Me Tell You What I Mean: Joan Didion

Lord of the Butterflies: Andrea Gibson

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