by Nicole Farmer

you might wish yourself from somewhere
the truth is you’ve got no roots to hold you steady

in this life of drifting, moving
starting over & over in another new place

you might toss & turn as you dream of people
you’ve known and wonder upon waking where

it could have possibly been now that you
find yourself in the southern mountains, where

you will never talk about or write about
grits or grandpa’s fiddle or the front porch swing

you might float & break all kite strings as you drift left
or right over treetops to the east, lakes to the north where

your parents hailed from—couldn’t wait to get away from
never knowing even at the age of sixty where

you might land where
you might feel at home.


by Nicole Farmer

in every family—pain
in every life—a door unhinged

how much time will it take
to forget
how you left me
just three days before mother’s day
when you told me:
we are thinking of having children
but I could never trust
you with them
would have to protect them
from you
 (echo in my head: from you       from you       from you)

and half my body goes numb with the shock               (clang)
of being
             Down the middle                                                   (thud)

one half of my body falls to the ground like a felled tree

no breath will come/no words/as my left hand holds the phone/and I listen to the swish of
your sword being wiped and sheathed/ all the way from LA LA Land/ where you stand in
some unknown room/ I have never seen/

in total whiteness                                                                 (void)
or maybe in front of a Hollywood
green screen
hard faced in your shining armor while
I gaze out with my

one remaining eye                                                                (numb)
at the late
spring evening breeze
blowing the silver grass
to green and back to silver again

Nicole Farmer has published two books of poetry, Wet Underbelly Wind (Finishing Line Press 2022) and Honest Sonnets (Kelsay Books 2023). Her poems have been published in over forty magazines. She was awarded the first prize in prose poetry from Bacopa Literary Review in 2020. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina. The first poem above comes from her work in Brit Washburn’s Great Smokies Writing Program fall semester 2023 class. The second is from Whitney Water’s class, also fall semester 2023.