Wild Magic


We were hot pants,

hip huggers, purple velvet

“Smoke on the Water and Fire in the Sky”


We were truants changing into jeans and cropped t-shirts

in the copse of dogwoods in Mort Jacobs Park

slathering on Coppertone making our way


thumbs out to Northwest Plaza in the heat in the humidity

to splash in fountains push strange boys to the brink

their scent Gandalf and Aragorn and Ent


We were junior high, we could have said no:

babies, drinking, drugs; we could have all gone on to high school,

our counselors advising us on colleges, SATs,


student loans, someone somewhere could have

commented, shown us a way out of our bruises,

broken psyches, bad choices


Instead of light grey Mourning Doves our soft calls laments

we could have all become Fire-tufted Barbets our striking

plumage green with bits of red, blue and yellow


our voices the spirited song of cicadas




Laura LeHew is the author of a full-length book of poems, two chapbooks, numerous articles and with poems in Anobium, American Society: What Poet’s See, Collecting Life: Poets on Objects Known and Imagined, Eleven Eleven, PANK and Phantom Kangaroo among others. She is on the steering committee for the Lane Literary Guild and is an active volunteer for the Oregon Poetry Association having held a variety of positions including President and Contest Chair. Laura interned for, and is a former board member, of CALYX Press. She received her MFA from the California College of Arts. She writes, edits her small press Uttered Chaos www.utteredchaos.org and sharpens her claws in Eugene, Oregon.