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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Little Miami River

By: Candice Kelsey

is my father

filling his shirts 

and slippers 

with the applause 

of pulses sipping  

mudbank coffee 

with the precision 

of turnpike truckers 

dabbling ducks

sliding its rook 

down the tiled path

of black and white 

chess drunk hours of

painting our canoe

camouflage in

the garage but first

wiping its dust  

with a cheesecloth 

tossing over the 80 oz.

popcorn bash-bags

like an angler

braving the summer

Southwestern Ohio

roller coaster 

of typhoon peaks 

and whirls only 

to placate the heart 

of his little girl

before silt-slow and

damned to age

or emptied tumbling 

into the rapids

of dementia’s big

river mouth

while I am distracted

by the shimmer

and feather of hooks


Candice Kelsey's work has appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, and North Dakota Quarterly. She published a successful trade paperback with Da Capo Press, made it to the quarter finals of the 2017 Able Muse Prize for Poetry, was a finalist for Poetry Quarterly's 2018 Rebecca Lard Award, and recently was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. An educator of 20 years' standing with her M.A. in literature from LMU, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.

The Little Miami River first appeared in The Broadkill Review


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