The NY Literary Magazine

A Distinguished Selection of the Finest Modern Literature

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family poems

A Christmas Card by Laura Rahill

I remember
a simpler time
when dad would come in
and we could smell the fresh icy air
of a day working in the yard
draped around him still
like the cloak of fatherhood

When the burn of the cold
still pricked our cheeks
as we giggled and slurped up
hot soup, strained of course
with spongy white batch
all prepared specially to thaw out
our snowman building bodies
and Christmas lights flickered
across our steamed windows
as the blue-black night pulled itself over
like a vale sprinkled with glitter

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JAWS by Debra McQueen

We watched it opening night
at the Capitol Drive-In.
The VW’s black vinyl
stuck to the backs of my thighs.

I sat in the passenger seat,
a habit from when I was little.
There was a smell
I hoped my parents wouldn’t notice.

I was allowed to hang
the heavy speaker on
my half rolled down window,
to control the volume.

We brought our own cans
of pop in a cooler stashed
on the floorboards.
Slunk low during the trailers,

Dad reached through
the bucket seats into
a bowl of popcorn from home
balanced on the parking brake.

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Whistle by Chiqui Jimenez

What was more desired than a whistle?
I was young and fascinated with the whistle.
The deafening sound that came from your mouth.
They weren’t birds, but they can whistle as the wind!
Whistling, whistling
I was fascinated, looking at my brothers whistling.

How can I whistle? My question came.
My brother teaching me, while my father screaming at me.
You are a girl! Girls don’t whistle!
Then my father whistles.
It is unfair or is it just me?
A girl who couldn’t whistle.

It’s the day for a wild whistle competition.

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