Polly Buckingham

The Crone

I wake in a city.
Bodies cover the snowy streets.
The left-over

halves of people bend
their heads against dead chests.

An infection rages in my eyes.
I rest in complete dark.

My dead sister
sits at my bedside pushing

my hair from my face,
wiping my forehead with a dead

I am a tree. I am a crone.
I stare into the flaring fire.

I stand in a basement
filled with brown water.

I meet my sister at a carnival.
We hold hands and run into the crowd.

I’m standing in a glass ball
filled with fog.

I turn and turn and turn.


“The Crone” is reprinted from Chattahoochee Review.


Polly Buckingham’s poems and stories appear in The New Orleans Review, The North American Review, The Tampa Review, (Pushcart nomination), Exquisite Corpse, The Literary Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Potomac Review, HubbubThe Moth and elsewhere.  She recently won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award and as a result has a fiction chapbook forthcoming from Hoopsnakes Press.  She was a finalist for Flannery O’Connor Award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Polly is founding editor of StringTown Press and teaches creative writing and literature at Eastern Washington University.