Green Hills Literary Lantern






A mom sat her play-smudged boy

on the wooden edge of a sandbox, pulled

off his sneaker, and poured

so much sand out of it

she had to laugh, a sand stream

that summoned me

back to the moment when, approaching home

after a day of play, my mom, calling

out from the kitchen, ordered me to

stop right there and

empty my sneaks,

and the amount of sand, pebbles, and even twigs

that tumbled out

made me laugh—then grow


as I remembered the awkward lumpiness

of my walk home and how

I hadn’t noticed such an

obvious thing, hadn’t been

aware of how much, from my ordinary day,

I carried.







Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His new collection, Watching Ourselves, will be published April ’17 by Unsolicited Press. Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit