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Issue Three:

Susan J Wurtzburg

WINTER 2020/21



On the range, crystal-filled nights shattered

            by an old cowboy tune sung by robber barons,

            as they stole our bodies, livelihoods, and dreams.

The raiders hit just before dawn, weary-boned sleepers

            slow to realize the intended harm, sparked

            by greed, overlaid on indifference.

Depleted, but not broken, come daylight, heels pinioned

            to a horse, cattle-hungry, but time to rescue

            a damsel tied to the railway tracks, yet again.


Dressed in red, white, and blue, she straddled the train tracks,

            screamed as the locomotive approached,

            but we spoke loudly and released the ties.

Skinny Dipping

Skinny dipping, so enjoyable, even now,
            when less skinny.
A very Canadian activity, at least,
            when the months are warm.

Occasional frozen-haired plummets

            in the icicle season.


Skinny dipped is my current status,

            skin stripped.

Nerves exposed and reddish-ragged,

            raw to the bone.

A struggling return to shore, exhausted

            after a long race.

Quince Logo 500

Susan J. Wurtzburg is a retired academic, and lives in Hawai‘i. She writes and runs her editing business in between water sports, hiking, walking her dog, and socializing online. She would like to acknowledge the helpful support and editing suggestions provided by the Rat’s Ass Review Writing Group with her poem “Rescue.”

QUINCE magazine

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