Issue No. 7, Winter 2013

Laura Madeline Wiseman

Soft and smooth, like a cup of hot chocolate
swirled with cinnamon and whipped cream,
and heavy, like the inherited WWII army blanket
that pins me down in warmth, this cat
chose me at the animal rescue league.
At an unlatched cage of kittens, I called, Be bold.
The first one who comes to me, I’m keeping—

big feet, big head, mewling like a bird. Maybe
she would’ve stepped into the open palms
of anyone, purred, head butted, and followed
them room to room to keep them from uprising
on just such a cold midwinter night,
but as the wind batters the house and the trees
and the streets seal over in ice and crusted snow,
I’m alone with this replacement, a kind of want, love,
thinking of my sister, of knowledge, of you.

Laura Madeline Wiseman has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she teaches English and creative writing. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012) and Unclose the Door (Gold Quoin Press, 2012). She is also the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Her writings have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Rose Red Review, Arts & Letters, Poet Lore, and Feminist Studies. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets and Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner, and grants from the Center for the Great Plains Studies and the Wurlitzer Foundation.