Monday, June 20, 2022

Kelly Sargent


War-torn moon,
craters, sunken, through the lens:
Shadows that cannot Be, Papa had said, without the light.

An abandoned, skinned-knee teen follows her shadow,
fingers unseen that once fastened a golden charm on her bracelet:
a crescent moon, its craters in the dark.

Greasy bangs grown over her eyes—
hazel-flecked eyes, sunken like craters—
filter unspent sunlight.

Fingers, unseen and callous-tipped, grope her wrist and
pin it down—tender and bared—
one before the other onto the unsparing tar
that scorches her shadow’s edge.

Without light—her papa’s voice, now recalled—
your own shadow cannot Be.

She turns her head, her cheek pressed against the tar.
“My shadow, they cannot capture,” she whispers,
and my shadow is me.”

Gerald So reads "Her Shadow":

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Kelly confesses: “The invasion of Ukraine reminded me of the heinous, often unspoken casualty of war - the rape and ravaging of women and children. I wanted to speak to the evil act of control perpetrated by conquering soldiers and authority figures that has been shamefully overlooked through the ages.”

KELLY SARGENT is the author of Lilacs & Teacups (Cyberwit, 2022) and Seeing Voices: Poetry in Motion (Kelsay Books, 2022), a Cordella Press Poetry Chapbook contest finalist. Her poems and artwork, including a 2021 Best of the Net nominee, have appeared or are forthcoming in more than forty literary publications, including Typehouse Literary Magazine, Stone Poetry Journal, and Newfound. She serves as the creative nonfiction editor of The Bookends Review, and has written for a national newspaper for the Deaf. She also reviews for an organization whose mission is to make visible the artistic expression of sexual violence survivors. Visit her at

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