Green Hills Literary Lantern





That was the year Sister Marie

published my first poem

in a school newsletter-


a dream fantasy about a wild jungle.

I can still smell the mimeograph toner,

feel the smudged sheets of white  paper.

That spring I rode my first bicycle,

learning how to stop with the coaster brake

instead of running into telephone poles.


That summer I bought a paperback edition of

Robert Frost poems at a Ben Franklin dime store,

the store clerk followed me around


until I paid for the book. I carried it in my backpack,

hid it from my friends. That fall  I waved at old women

in babushkas sweeping the sidewalks.


They never looked up, never waved back.

That winter I learned about fences,

how I wasn’t their good neighbor.






Frank C Modica is a retired teacher who taught children with special needs for over 34 years.  Frank’s writing is animated by interests in history, geography, and sociology. He lives in a university community, where he enjoys the various cultural opportunities available to him.  His short story “Homemade” was selected as an Honorable Mention in the Midway Journal 2017 -1000 Below Flash Prose and Poetry contest. His work has appeared in Slab, Heyday, Cacti Fur, Black Heart Magazine, The Tishman Review, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, and FewerThan500.