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[If This Is Forward, Leave Me Here]
by Janet Buck

[Times Past]
"Times Past"
by McGuire

Gray/white halls form smelly casts --
whole skeletons and bones inside.
Itch and scale hidden beneath
a chorus of moans.
Bach plays on the intercom;
Bingo games leave losers
and no winning cards.
Your eyes blink twice,
demand I write a softer score
for exiting this cruel earth
than falling through brown paper bags,
becoming stickers on a chart.

Three pictures of your family
stand planted on a corkboard slab.
Marked by times you voided liquid --
no one questions swamps
of cotton under you.
Across a crowded parking lot,
blue sky plates stay packed with meals
of elsewhere's joy.
A grandfather's hands are idle tools
invaded by widowing rust.

The only noise at breakfast time --
spoon to chin without thick pads,
interloping tender flesh
to soothe the broken instrument.
Guilty chocolates melt in mounds.
Flowers droop for company.
"Three Fountains" is a nursing home.
I'm curious where water is.
Blue jays scratch the window panes,
leaving stripes of blood on glass.
If this is forward, leave me here.
I look at you; you gaze at me.
We wonder why they wanted in.

IF THIS IS FORWARD, LEAVE ME HERE will be appearing in CARNELIAN for the October 2002 issue.

Bio: Janet Buck is a three-time Pushcart Nominee and the author of four collections of poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Three Candles, PoetryBay, Red River Review, Artemis, The Pedestal Magazine, Runes, Moondance, Poetry, Southern Ocean Review, CrossConnect, Offcourse, The American Muse, and hundreds of journals world-wide. In 2001 and 2002, Buck has received awards from Kota Press, Sol Magazine, Kimera, L'Intrigue, and The Critical Poet. For links to more of her work, see:

Contact Janet at

Stained Glass Cantata | Medusa Blinked | Pantoum: There's A Girl in the House
Woolen Helix | G Minor: Information Is Best Processed While Lying On A Couch
Progeny | Rounded Edge Of Us | Lessons For Little Girls
Massacre At The Cave Of Alders | Desolate | If This Is Forward, Leave Me Here
Review of Ruth Daigon's Handfuls of Time

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