Read a Poem by Lois Marie Harrod

A Little Poem



is best. No one

has time or 


for voyages

or treks. Long

wars take 

a life or more

and the shortest

spat becomes

a drawn-out

divorce. We’ve

been here and there

fore and aft. 

So avoid story. 

Avoid conflict

and all its sticky dead.

Be slick.

Be quick.

A little poem is best.

1st published in Hot Metal

The Spineless


No use telling

the jellyfish

to stand up

for herself

or the footless 

slug to stand 

his ground.

Most amoebae

are wobbly

as curdled milk

and even 

the centipede

for all his feet

doesn’t know

which one 

to put down.

White feathers


the slightest breeze,

and backboneless

crabs sidle off.

So don’t expect 

piling or prop.

90% of us

have been spineless

this 3.7 billion-year


1st published in Fourth River

The Chapter in Which the Moon Was Forgiven



My mother preferred periods to semicolons.

You can’t stop smoking halfway, she said.

It’s cease or ampersand. When she found 

my buts and run-ons in the attic, she burned 


sentence by sentence in the big oil drum. 


she would have said, had she tried such tokes.

Ignited my father’s love letters too, logs 

punctuated long before she smoldered along, 

seems there was a red-haired nurse 

who wouldn’t follow him to Pittsburgh. 

How much does a preacher make? Not 


he sighed. My mother found those epistles

in the back of his drawer, read them pilcrow 

   by pilcrow,

and then they disappeared. You just keep

those periods coming, she told me, dousing 

   my pants.


1st published in Journal of New Jersey Poets

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