person Sherre Vernon, two poems

Sherre Vernon is an educator, a poet and a seeker of a mystical grammar. She has written two award-winning chapbooks: Green Ink Wings, her postmodern novella, and The Name is Perilous, a collection of spiritual poetry. Sherre is a 2019 recipient of the Parent-Writer Fellowship to Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and served as the fiction editor for Fickle Muses during its final season.


Abba, Father


some cold place again
and you across the way
we bone-heaved orphans
in a cacophony of scars

search for the pater, as foreign
to our ears as stars. we can
trace out only never,
bodies without children,
for hanging

names, curses, fists, flesh


she is lovely, a constellation.
i spoke for her, from the edges
of my teeth & watched

& you are father,
the good man. always, only,
my poem finds you
in bright hair, all
embrace: us both, saying


your body was not
your soul, was not

us both, borne together

stem in the sewer
grate, a brown
pine body, a flurry
suddenly into the skin

& the train pulsed by


The Magician
for Jeannemarie

By the walls of the classroom
she sorts them, says: choose which you are–
O Amoeba, O Nautilus, O Spotted-
and-Crouching Leopard.

She will tell you: you, you think to stand
out, but those spots are meant
for blending; you have yet
no self, absorb everything
you touch; you: a chambered poet.

My young spectators do you feel
the lean stretch of time? She has a bicycle
deck with your name in it. Shuffle,
shuffle. What use is it to palm
your own card, my red Joker,
what rebellion, my wild-hearted Jack?

The room’s in festival, hand sewn with
spice and sinew, with ribbons from
chocolates and perfume from the 99.
She’s a pocket for markers and clips
and dice. Wit in tweed and linen.
It is all a making. All a discernment

and what the voice can do!
With a song of love and light:
some lyrics to pass the day by
a spin of all the years she’s spent
curating the playlist: Taylor Mali, Bene Gesserit,
Penn & Teller. Mostly Teller. Your first

job reference. Your first call
from jail. No money, but better
than the beggar. Have you read
all– Yes, some
twice. When does it end?
Never. Never. Raise
your hands to heaven–

O my Roses and Lilies of the earth,
why do you hold back?



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