I first discovered Wanda's work when both of us were published in the Rat's Ass Review last October. Her poems are rich with meaning and her words dance upon the page in unique ways that make the pages sparkle.
I want to welcome Wanda to the Vegetable Tray - it is an honor to share her work today!
A Little About Wanda: Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL – population 200, give or take. Over 700 pieces of her work appear in 191 print and electronic publications. Clevenger is currently serving as a contributing editor for U-Rights Magazine. She has published five chapbooks, This Same Small Town in Each of Us (2011 Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing), and four of a 5-volume set where the hogs ate the cabbage – young and unadorned, no dyeing in machines, fried everything and booze and bore for the sale barn (2018 – 2021 Writing Knights Press).
Both poems are from Wanda's "young and unadorned - Vol. 1 where the hogs ate the cabbage" series.
kite skies by Wanda Morrow Clevenger
I had a kite that I offered up to the Oldens in the high winds of March over the field by the West School but the higher the kite flew the more afraid I was of the drag on the other end
there was a howling thing exiled up there that wanted me but I wanted me more and never would let all the string out
Red Fez – May 13, 2015
Florida in 1975 by Wanda Morrow Clevenger
“The people in the bungalow next door don’t come outside during the day. They keep the shades drawn tight as night,” Aunt Marie said in the matter of fact way one reminds of Tuesday afternoon trash collection.
“They lived their entire lives here, broiling their skins into cow hide.”
I was still young then, but not so young I hadn’t sacrificed nearly all my virtue to sun god Ra in my bikini in my backyard.
I pictured those Florida people as peeling mummies, the sepia tone kind in World Book Encyclopedia, raising gritty plumes whenever, if ever, they raised a sloe gin fizz or played a bony hand of canasta
inside their next door sarcophagus trying to hide from Ra’s world of the living and the dead.
See Spot Run – October 13, 2013 Florida Speaks – January 2014