Cara Valle

Grandmother Peeling the Last Summer Apple

Her knotted fingers wrapped around
The apple's swell.
Her skin looked like a paper sack
With seeping oil.

She poked her knife tip in the rind
Beside the stem
And neatly dragged the blade along
Toward her thumb.

She carved a ribbon of yellow rind
Around the fruit,
Keeping it whole till every inch
Of skin was cut.

The ribbon fell and coiled, and coiled
And fell. It hung
Between her swollen knees until

It touched the ground.

Hospice Care

My grandma wears an oxygen mustache.
It clouds, then clarifies with every snore.
Her crumpled tissues overflow the trash.
She doesn't put a bra on anymore--
she hasn't had real breasts in twenty years.
She once had false ones, but, unlike her teeth,
they're useless. Grizzled hair grows in her ears.
Above her chair, a plastic floral wreath
has gathered up as much gray as her skin.
Blood pools in purple welts around her feet,
but, when Mom pricks her finger, just a thin,
half-transparent drop comes out to meet
the sugar testing strip. Her hands are dry.
She isn't as afraid of death as I.


Cara Valle has published poems previously in The Coachella Review, Language and Culture Review, and Epiphany Magazine. She earned her B.A. in English from Hillsdale College in 2010 and went on to become an English teacher and design and teach a high school course devoted to formalist verse. She grew up in southwest Ohio, attended college in Michigan, and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and brand new son.


Melissa Balmain
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Gwen Hart
A. J. Huffman
Kathryn Jacobs
Geneva Kachman
Joan Mazza
Susan McLean
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Cara Valle
Marly Youmans
Seree Zohar


>We are pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Thompson is the recipient of the Mezzo Cammin scholarship at the West Chester University Poetry Conference and Wendy Sloan is the recipient of The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project scholarship.

Judith Schaecter: I found the beauty of stained glass to be the perfect counterpoint to ugly and difficult subjects. Although the figures I work with are supposed to be ordinary people doing ordinary things, I see them as having much in common with the old medieval windows of saints and martyrs. They seem to be caught in a transitional moment when despair becomes hope or darkness becomes inspiration. They seem poised between the threshold of everyday reality and epiphany, caught between tragedy and comedy.

My work is centered on the idea of transforming the wretched into the beautiful--say, unspeakable grief, unbearable sentimentality or nerve wracking ambivalence, and representing it in such a way that it is inviting and safe to contemplate and captivating to look at. I am at one with those who believe art is a way of feeling ones feelings in a deeper, more poignant way.

I would describe my process as derived almost entirely from traditional techniques in use for centuries. The imagery is predominantly engraved into layers of glass; only the black and yellow are painted and fired on in a kiln. The pieces are soldered together in a copperfoil and lead matrix.
32 Poems
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