Patty Nolan

Sonnet for the National Anthem

Why exactly are we booing the tall
men down on one knee or sometimes on two
who will not stand and salute for the alt
right it's all right when it's not about you?

And if they stand for the anthem and crawl
when the man says to? A fistful of stars
buys red and white stripes to quilt a son's pall
but a first down will get you ten more yards.

Children make the anthem a caterwaul
of garbled words. They win with hand on heart
and bowed heads, ready to answer the call
to take the great green field—to play their part.

My daughter sang the anthem for us all.
She thought the last three words were brave play ball.

The Refrigerator Scolds in a Villanelle

You look for something once held dear,
And you pause, you scan, dismayed.
Close the door, it isn't here.

Some other treat. Some other year.
Some other picnic's lemonade.
You look for something once held dear.

Hot dogs. Short cake. Whipped cream smear.
Sweat-beaded berries in smoking shade.
Close the door, it isn't here.

The mustard sun. The sky blue blear.
The spit-out seeds of melon raids.
You look for something once held dear.

And still you stand and still you peer,
Yet youth is gone and hope betrayed—
Close the door, it isn't here.

Let's settle for a can of beer;
Grab some cheese—the ache is stayed.
You look for something once held dear;
Close the door, it isn't here.


Patty Nolan has lived her entire life in southeast Michigan and her outlook is informed by a love of lake water, the thrum of industry, and the optimistic belief that while people are often foolish, they essentially mean well. She has been scribbling words since she was allowed to use sharp pencils and earns her keep as a freelance writer in the marketing/communications field. She is an enthusiast of the performing arts and reviews theatre in the greater Detroit area. Her personal motto is: There's a lot to be said for brevity.


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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Louise Erdrich by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell.

Charlotte Innes was the recipient of the 2018 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Megan Marlatt:Looking like large puppet heads, it was "anima", the root of "animation", that led me to the making of the big heads, (or "capgrossos" as they are called in Catalonia where I learned the craft.) Anima is the soul or what breathes life into a being and to animate an inanimate object, an artist must insert a little soul into it. However to bring attention to what is invisible, (the soul), I chose to mold its opposite in solid form: the persona, the ego, the big head, the mask. Nearly every culture across the globe has masks. They allow performers to climb into the skin of another being and witness the other's world from behind their eyes. While doing so, the mask erases all clues of the performer's age, gender, species or race. In this regard, I find them to be the most transformative and empathic of all human artifacts.

32 Poems
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