Volume 15 • Number 1 • Spring-Summer 2023

Alison Heron Hruby


Saturday afternoon ticks towards
retrieving children from sun-split brick,
radiator-hot buildings –

   split wide open from a late-fall light
   that is pushing on the skin of cold,
   copious snows my very young
   daughter wants.

All that light is streaming through the gape
of the building windows.
And the piano dance music
skims the walls,
skims sweetly
for stairs ascending.

At the pique
I return, glad to see you --
her teacher,
artfully leading restless bodies.
Your hands, startled starfish, tense to concentrate on
plump toes pointed outward,
and I take my usual place,
a filament behind the classroom’s door.

But today,
   the sun moves strangely,
   and you move strangely.
We become two bodies uncommonly aligned here:
iris to iris.

Your eyes,
are rimmed like gold foil coins,
lit by helium fire –
   Some angle has shown me the Gods.

I look down and one of your sneaker shoelaces is untied and frayed and
your dark, pilled sweater is old in this light.
   But I would take it off for you every day,
even though the sun has moved too low in the sky to impress the windows,
even though you have turned around and, now,
   somewhere my tiny daughter waits.

I Wish Your Old Downstairs Was My Downstairs Now


I woke up
to brush my back teeth,
and my neck is sweating,
and the tips of my finger feel
dirty and this body does
not feel
home. Once there
 was your

We were twelve – and
if I could go there this
would turn out different. This
sneak away from heat,
from bones seeped oddly of what might kill me
to downstairs, to somewhere cool,
to your childhood, to the
perfect couch instead of all this dust.

But remember that fight when
your mother hated mine
and the agreement was
that I would still do the
work for your family
friend anyway, to
rock their sweet, small baby to sleep.

I kept some pacts, but
you wouldn’t look at me for days

Now you will (do), but I’m warm, and I cannot sleep.

Alison Heron Hruby is an associate professor of English education at Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky and lives in Lexington with her husband and two teenage children. She is new to submitting poetry for publication.