PoetryIssue 18 | June 2013

Following Belle-Mère

by Sarah Lawrence

Near Heiligenstein, Alsace, France

She knows this damp and moldy trail, familiar as her kitchen. Tree-tops sieve pure Alsace air. I sweat while she is sanctified. 
Ça va?
Oui, ça va, I fib. No cafes, newsstands. I need to learn this path.
Along a steeper route, the man we love is pressing hand to bark, gauging the forest’s health. He’s air-lifting snails to safety.
My beautiful mother. That flash of copper to his curls derives from her; his ancient greenness, too. She gently nudged him toward the table when meteor showers beguiled him, discreetly mended his button-shy shirts. My tasks, now. My pleasure in following.

About the author

Sarah has found that the three most important things in choosing a spouse are location, location, location. Although she and her husband live in Los Angeles, they visit his family in France every couple of years. She’s read her weight in “I’m in Europe and You’re Not” memoirs and looks forward to one day writing her own. Best travel moment? Landing in Geneva and being picked up at the airport by relatives. When the road signs changed from Swiss white to French orange she thought, I’m home.  Read Sarah’s blog here.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok