An MER VOX Folio Curated by Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach
Since the 2016 election, the news has been mostly terrible. Both online and offline we have been barraged 24/7 by an overwhelming level of toxicity. We’d like to offer our readers a respite, however brief. For our December folio, we’re featuring poems that celebrate silver linings wherever they may be found: in those we love, in nature, in literature, in sisterhood, in memory.
Our hope—for ourselves, for our readers, for poets, for those we love—is that by focusing on one positive thing in the day, we can find a moment of peace despite our challenging times.
The poems we are sharing are personal and examine what brings comfort. As Maria Mazziotti Gillan writes in “Even After All These Years:”
a plate of spaghetti gives me
comfort, the food my mother made
three times a week
when I was a child in the 17th St. tenement,
that food we ate every day
Other poems, such as “Ode” by Catherine Esposito and “Scarred” by Allia Abdullah-Matta look for joy in the inanimate (a pen), nature, in dreams, sisterhood and those we love
the pen that works, the fingers that hold it
the teenage boys who grow their minds at school
the daughter with unicorn dreams
the husband also rising
the quiet morning, then the raucous afternoon
I dream/ I am in a dream
at El Viejo Yayo
me and the women of my life
best sisters to an only child
tastes of Africana, Caribeña, Americana.
As Jen Karetnick reminds us in her poem, “Brief Portrait of Millennials as a Nebulizer Or, There Are Reasons to Breathe,” there is still the possibility of hope:
We can only write a prescription for hope, drop in
the drug. The rest is a matter of pharmaceutical
course: They are the compressor to spirit change,
the mouthpiece to deliver an open-throated, unifying mist.
It is with great honor and love that we present this Vox Folio: Silver Linings.
Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Catherine Esposito Prescott