Inheritance and other poems by Elizabeth Cranford Garcia



Age four    maybe five    she opens her mother’s    jewelry box 
    to star-fire    dispersion, the strange     mechanics of lobster claws,    chain clasps
bracelets    broken-jawed, ropes    of amber and jade,    heavy fruit of gems, 
    of grandmothers    she never knew,    bulky shanks of pewter, of silver  pinked like the sky at dusk—all the ways    light can be caught    and kept—finds
    a pouch   black velvet, finger-sized,  opens it 	 	 (don’t), 	
inside it a star, a crumb of light, the lowest common denominator between 
you and the universe, you are less small, less lost in a house of voices large 
as brass bedrails, as broken pianos, you forget it might slip
through your fingers to the rug, colored old boxes, 
dusty attic, she finds you, drags the shag, rasps her palms
combing for that stone, sobbing, her emblem 
of infinity lost to infinity, pulls you both 
into a denser, blacker place where 
she is no longer your mother
just a woman 

sometimes I am surprised by my own placidity

my girl comes to me, cowed, wide
eyed with memory—a shoestorm,
sudden hot squall, sky-blackened

winds and debris, one purple tent 
forever wrecked—pulls me to her room 
mommy don’t be mad  to confess: 

thick slick of ointment caked 
on her dress, on all four walls,
the sheen of grease making 

a maze of mirror mirrors—tell me, 
who will be the victim 
of this small crime?		

		Look— a grazing cow, her jaw pondering 
		mysteries—nothing keeps the grass
		from worshipping the wind 

		hold you, it was never about you
		let us lie down in this new pasture, sprawl
		in the soft grasses of some bigger love than us

		lose ourselves in their shush and sway, let cloud shadows
		wash over us, bless us with flickering light
		with miles and orchards of light


Neighbor Lady Suffers Stroke 

like paddles 		licking		
	like	sculling boats,
some law 	propels

on a current   	raisin
scree swirls on 	waterskin
	congresses in 	mangroves, 

argues tampon taxes, electoral 	
	school	 	litanies of rights 
and lefts	quilt patterns 

	she floats on 	autumn 
lacquered to light
	gathering	quivers		

arrows whisper
	branches painted black--
River! 	rushes out of her, warm, 

	she 		her arms moving it,
hair growing long and 	a color
	with plankton, 	she listens 		

how she made it here
	it’s night, 	the 	light pricks 
flash in bright rings, 

	the 		Andy Gibb 	trills
like a siren, 	go towards
	the glittering necklace

the black bead, 	she is pulled into
	another 	big bang place	 
her other self	and she

	will smell each other’s hair, 
will say 	again
	to her children		Eat

every 		last 	bean!
	and	to each other
not enough

Return to Journal

Elizabeth Cranford Garcia’s work has or will soon appear in publications such as Boxcar Poetry Review, SoFloPoJo, Mom Egg Review, Psaltery & Lyre, Dialogist, several anthologies, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her first chapbook, Stunt Double, was published in 2016 through Finishing Line Press. She is the current Poetry Editor for Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought and a SAHM of three in Acworth, Georgia. Read more of her work at

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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