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Sentimental Poem, by Kerry Trautman

I will not apologize for my tears over
nothings—The last acorn on a bare treeful of oak

twigs. Two boys, one smiling,
one not, coasting bikes across my

car’s path. I will be grateful
when my gut is suddenly ill

with tenderness for
discarded potatoes in a grocer’s dumpster,

ice shove swallowing a UP Michigan lakeside
cottage, a bird I can not identify,

grey-lilac, fluttering away from white petunias.
I did not mean to startle you,

What’s-Your-Name. I will be grateful
that I am capable

of being overcome with these
littlest griefs because they

are shadows accentuating the little beauties—
moths hiding from daylight deep

in my pots of coleus, children listening
to books whisper, a rabbit’s fur trembling

with April,
hundreds of maple

seeds helicopter-ed into a roof gutter,
sails aimed up, shuddering

together. My bloody insides welcome it all,
knowing it is all or nothing at all.


Ohio born and raised, Kerry Trautman is a poetry editor for the online journal Red Fez. She has served as a judge or workshop leader for the Northwest region of Ohio’s “Poetry Out Loud” competition annually since 2016. Her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies and literary journals, and her books are: Things That Come in Boxes, To Have Hoped, Artifacts, To be Nonchalantly Alive, and her newest—Marilyn: Self-Portrait, Oil on Canvas.