Featured Poetry

Ozark Supper on the Night Before Payday

By Peggy Schimmelman

There was never not something to eat
but sometimes what there was were
a couple of unlucky squirrels or
a hefty raccoon rolled in flour
and chicken-fried by my mom
who must’ve been pondering
her lot in life:

six kids bursting out
of their school clothes
another beneath her apron
(oh, how would she tell him?)
the fox who had bloodied
the henhouse again
and a roof with more leaks
than she had pans
to catch the drips

but she served up the critters
and without hesitation
we all dug in
because my slow-footed dad
could strike like a rattler
when it came to giving us
        something to complain about
and anyway
as long as we had biscuits and gravy
and mashed potatoes
with sweet iced tea to wash it all down
what was there to whine about, really?

Peggy Schimmelman

Peggy Schimmelman grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and now lives and writes in Livermore, California. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Crazytown and Tick-Tock, along with the novels Whippoorwills and Insomniacs, Inc.  Her work has appeared in North American Review, Boston Literary MagazineFlash fiction MagazineHaight Ashbury JournalPacific Review, Comstock Review, and other publications. She is co-author of two Wild Vine Writers’ anthologies.  

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