Green Hills Literary Lantern



The Body Politic



The body is no democracy,

lungs turning to lumps of coal

just because the nerves

crave another cigarette.


Nerves also order sundaes topped

with dollops of cream, care nothing

for arteries that must now work

harder to squeeze out a living.


Other parts of the body want

every day declared a holiday—

eggs all dolled up,

sperm madly waving their flags.






The Absent Fathers


They’re the ones

who don’t take you out

to the ball game,

the ice cream parlor,

the circus. Under

their invisibility cloak

they’re tall and handsome,

with a forehead

reminiscent of Half Dome.

The trouble is

they’re performing

surgery in Swaziland,

they’re squatting

in Sing Sing,

they’re busy exploring

the afterlife.

What they’re not

is Father Time,

drifting softly

from one year

of your life to the next.

What they’re not

is Father Christmas,

bringing you presents

before disappearing

into someone else’s

good night.





In addition to a chapbook called Medusa Discovers Styling Gel (Finishing Line Press, 2009), Dian Duchin Reed’s recent poems appear in such journals as TriQuarterly, Poet Lore, Nimrod International Journal, and Poetry East. She has been the recipient of a Sundberg Family grant for literary criticism, the Mel Tuohey Award for writing excellence, and the Mary Lonnberg Smith Award in Poetry.