Author Feature - June 2021

Christine Brooks is a graduate of Western New England University with her B.A. in Literature and her M.F.A. from Bay Path University in Creative Nonfiction. Her series of vignettes, Small Packages, was named a semifinalist at Gazing Grain Press in August 2018. Her essay, What I Learned from Being Accidentally Celibate for Five Years was featured in HuffPost, MSN, Yahoo and Daily Mail UK in April 2019. Her first book of poems, The Cigar Box Poems, was released in February 2020. Her second, beyond the paneling, is due out in April 2021.

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if you’re going to notice me,

notice me in a place 

that strums & dances at will

along Grafton street

where flowers and fortunes are

bought & sold

for a song


if you’re going to sit with me,

sit with me on a sunbeam

along the green

where Chaffinches sing & 

verbena flowers bow to

the Trinity bell tower


if you’re going to love me

meet me on Westland Row

downstairs from the bakery 

by the staircase, at a small

table for two

and tell me how we



 she drips, crying

still for that last night


when it was warmer than it

should have been for a

November night

and they sat outside, sipping cocktails

and changing floodlights

while they still could, before

the snow and darkness came


the broken-down wooden ladder

wobbly at best

had her closer to heaven then she had been in so long

so long in fact that she forgot how it felt

to be up there with him holding

her, as rickety as it was   

he held on tight as she stretched on tippy toes for the



now his chair leans against the shed


and the old ladder is back in the garage

and she sits alone    and the grand tree who had always

been alive 

could do nothing

but weep 

because she did not 



I remember fishing with my father not

in the way most would, at least

I don't think



No, don't hurt the worm, I said please

don't hurt the worm

it's okay, he always said, even though

we both knew it wasn't

as he did his best to tie the worm in a knot

around my shiny hook instead of

piercing his small body

knowing that he would drown



I wasn't the son he wanted if kids were even

in his dreams

and I certainly wasn't the fishing buddy

he could have had


but still, 


when we fished with corn

on the banks of a tiny pond in a small town

that no one ever heard of

and allowed ourselves to be small

like the corn niblet on my silver hook

we were

— happy