The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Uncertain Acrobats by Rebecca Hart Olander

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from Uncertain Acrobats by Rebecca Hart Olander released by CavanKerry Press in 2021.


This is what is left
when language leaves
us—the humming,
the seesaw breath
in and out,
and images of
who my father was:
long-distance runner,
cross-country coach,
English teacher, essayist,
rabid reader, belter of song
and strummer of chords,
backgammon partner,
the last one up at night
reading under dim light,
his strong tea, loose,
from Ireland,
his measuring the leaves,
his steeping overlong,
cream in the stained
vessel, the dark well,
a ritual leading
his inner lion
to the easy chair,
to make that lion
lie down with the lamb
he kept looking for.

Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Massachusetts Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere, and her collaborative visual and written work has been published in multiple venues online and in They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press, 2018). Rebecca’s books include a chapbook, Dressing the Wounds (dancing girl press, 2019), and her debut full-length collection, Uncertain Acrobats (CavanKerry Press, 2021), which was given a “Must Read” distinction from the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University and Amherst College and works with poets in the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. She is the editor/director of Perugia Press.

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.


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