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Lynne Potts


Landscape (WPA mural study for Cornelia, Georgia, Post Office) by Charles Trumbo Henry

What holds together
a country (once a land)
stretched leisurely between
pointy mountains river
mossy banks, lakes
hoisting islands like flags
they tie-dyed themselves,
corn-on-the-cob season when
dining room glasses go gold
and you have three ears
with butter and salt;
a country, amiable
even in the Main Street shop
where Barbies gather
dust while the owner
reads old Posts or in a diner
where the red lipstick
on the waitress leaks tiny
pink rivulets she can’t
see in the gray bathroom
mirror or where your breath
shortens at the site of familiar
handwriting delivered
by the postman pretending
to bite your lazy dog,
a country whose newsmen
hype an ordinary snow storm
out of proportion and forget
how great it is for building forts
and where I often have
an inking it can’t last but
still, like in fourth grade
I raise my hand because
I think I have the right answer.


About the writer:
More than 150 poems by Lynne Potts have appeared in Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, California Quarterly, Meridian, Southern Humanities Review, FUSION, The Literary Review, New American Writing, Broken City Review, Crazy Horse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Southern Poetry Review, American Letters and Commentary, Tampa Review, Gettysburg Review, Texas Review, Guernica, Cincinnati Review, SPEC, New Millennium Writing and numerous other journals. Her first book, PORTHOLE VIEW, and a second, MAME, SOL, AND DOG BARK were published by National Poetry Review Press. A third book, THE RELENTLESS PRONOUN, was published by the Glass Lyre Press. Selected by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a 2012 Fellow, she has also been awarded fellowships by Virginia Colony for the Creative Arts, Ragdale, and Moulin a Nef in France. She was a featured poet on WKCR and Poetry Daily—and has read her work at the KGB Bar and Poets House in New York, and at New England Poetry Club, Grolier Book Store (the original!) in Boston, and in countless other venues in both cities. Enjoy more of Lynne Potts’s work collected in a new PDF pamphlet Family Photo of America now in release from O:JA&L’s Buttonhook Press.

Image: Landscape (study for WPA mural in Cornelia, Georgia, Post Office) by Charles Trumbo Henry (1902-1964). No medium specified. 14.3 x 27.9 inches. 1938. Public domain.


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