Note from the Editors







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Graveyard Walk

Winter’s gone, grass muddy, almost green. She unfolds
herself like a map placing her somewhere between pastoral
and tomb. Walking brightly among the stacked limestone
crypts, she knows early spring is too warm not to visit
these dead.  We are shadowless at noon like the simpler
markers – their poor erasure! – she thinks, then observes

some vining festooned wrought iron, observes
in these elaborate gates gaudy death. Another gate unfolds
before her, common, uniform, offering her a simpler
passage to sloping grass and trees, the pastoral
hill full of tilting, bald gravestones of limestone.
“Their poor erasure!”she says aloud, her visit

recalling years ago back home at dusk, each visit 
smoking behind the caretaker’s shed. She observes
as if returned the plastic vines and leaves, limestone
broken and scattered, dirt, the crusted stiff fabric unfolds
within the blooms heaped there, her memory pastoral
suddenly gothic, nighttime, wrong.  Was my life simpler,

she wonders, forgetting the blooms, the simpler
humble, perpetual gifts that couldn’t last.  One visit,
back then, among the broken headstones (pastoral
forgotten) toppled by hoodlums or age, she observes,
dipped half into the balding turf – how memory unfolds! –
one remnant Virgin Mary, no, not buried, not limestone,

but ceramic by the border of cornfield, not limestone,
her blue robe. The face so worn away, somehow simpler –
what the thumb-marks of her eyes’ gaze couldn’t visit.
The hands muted like vision, like memory, the beds Mary unfolds:
some in grass, others framed within tall stalks. The pastoral
unbuttoning of shirts and adolescent zippers measured,
she observes,

by young skin, the grace of undone bras in training. She observes
again youth gone and then sits squarely upon a limestone
bench, noon’s blight of returned unknowing – those simpler
days! – suddenly moments past. Was it the day, the pastoral
setting, the eroded blue Mary’s thumb-marked eyes, the visit
of memory that dizzied her so?  She finds her tissues, unfolds

one, dabs her eyes, observes the lichen-flecked faces of limestone,
its oldest markers. Who visits their worn namelessness, simpler
than memory, she wonders.  And the pastoral day unfolds. Locklin is the editor of the short fiction anthologies Law and Disorder and Altered States. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including The Hartskill ReviewClementine MagazineQuarter After Eight,Maize, and Main Street Rag, as well as the anthologies And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, Dots on a Map,and Crossing Lines; and has won honors in the Robert J. DeMott short prose contest, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the AWP’s Intro Journal Project, and the Lois Davidson Ellis Literary Award. Her poetry chapbookThe Secondary Burial was a finalist for the San Diego Book Awards in 2013.

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