The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Pelted by Flowers by Kali Lightfoot

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from Pelted by Flowers by Kali Lightfoot, released by CavanKerry Press in 2021. 

On the Bench above Spring Point Light, Portland, Maine

Peaks Island Ferry chugs across the harbor.
Sailboats moored in middle distance swing
into the wind like weathervanes.

I lean back on a bronze plaque glinting
in afternoon sun: “Look for the Heaven
here on Earth. It is all around you.”

This grassy hill is manmade, once a wartime
gun emplacement, concrete and steel
under wildflowers, now the guns long gone.

Fort Gorges faces me, gun ports empty,
on its rocky outcrop halfway to Peaks Island.
Civil War long over, the fort is covered in green.

Weapons placed here for strategic defense
never fired a shot at enemies who never arrived.
Anna and I sat here one summer night, the forts

disguised with loveliness: sweet pea and salvia
moving in warm wind, passersby smiling at us
in this place built for war and mayhem, forts

still waiting to take up arguments of guns.
We tried for beauty or peace, and found instead
the argument that ended us.

Kali Lightfoot lives in Salem, MA. Her poems and reviews of poetry books have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Poetry South, Lavender Review, Broadsides to Books, and Gyroscope. Kali’s work has been nominated twice for Pushcart Prize, and once for Best of the Net. Pelted by Flowersher debut collection, is available from CavanKerry Press and other venues. Kali was once a wilderness ranger in the U.S. Forest Service, and later founding Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes; before earning an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals. She is the winner of the DIAGRAM’s essay contest and the C.D Wright conference’s Emerging Writer award, and is the founder of the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series at Franklin College. 


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