Poetry: Dear Maddie by Michael Hurley
Beyond an excellent title—who is Maddie? where is home?—Michael Hurley’s “Dead Maddie” crunches in the readers mouth: image and sound wonderfully in tune with themes of fragility and loss.
Spring has been cold
but with newness
on the buds and this summer
if it’s anything like the last one
I’ll need to tiptoe
barefoot on the porch
to avoid crushing
the snails; when it happens anyway,
the sound is so tragic, something so glasslike
destroyed, I have to bend down
and apologize out loud.
There are no fireflies here,
but back home, where our mothers
still cry, there are no snails;
just slugs, which as you know,
are easier to kill without knowing.
Michael Hurley is from Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Cincinnati Review, Sycamore Review, New Delta Review, The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, Mid-American Review, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, North American Review, FIELD, Crab Orchard Review, Blackbird, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Wooden Boys, is available from Seven Kitchens Press.