After Loss

The days





like empty





A gold cigarette

butt, twisted


candy wrapper, discarded

plastic spoon, and dark,


flattened disk of gum

surround a blade


of grass growing

from a broken sidewalk,


the sprig seeming

a humble


probe of life



devastation, kindred spirit

to the tender


fleck of green



on the quiet

pond in the spoon.


by Mark Belair



Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His most recent collection is Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015). Previous collections include Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times. For more information, please visit


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