PoetryIssue 16 | October 2012

Two Poems by Laurie Byro

Southeast Lighthouse Stairs

Block Island

From the north the winds lie long and light slants
differently this time. I stick October into a socket of bone,
readjust its broken arm. I howl beside the goldenrod

along these cliffs, startle finches into flight. Ragged
feather dusters of cattails rove between their shoulders. 

The air is yellowed with dust. I carry all of her there, a mosaic
of stones and fragments of bones, a skeleton key
with no door to open. She is the lazy strain of lost shells,

the deep green and copper rust of the body. Climbing
down nine flights of stairs, sometimes chasing the light

I lay her down among the tall grass. She is the flinty spark
off a match I cannot strike. A gingham dog tears at my father’s
hand, laps his last slurp of water. I lie to the man who wants her

ashes to mingle with his. I tell him I have saved all of her
for him. I want the sea to take back all of my mistakes. Carved

and thick as a pane of old glass the tide sweeps
the beach. It picks through stones with crooked fingers of salt.
The tide, they tell me, will be coming in soon.

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About the author

Laurie Byro’s short stories and poetry draw on myth, fairytale and her experiences of foreign places in the years she worked as a travel agent. Published widely in literary journals such as Autumn Sky Poetry, Loch Raven Review, and Stirring, her work has been featured on The Guardian’s online workshop and has placed favorably in the Interboard Poetry Competitions. Laurie is head of circulation at a library in New Jersey where she facilitates a poetry circle.


Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok