Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 7,000 archived posts.

Beth Brown Preston: Still Life with Flowers

Momma cautioned me about the dangers of an artist’s life
when in sixth grade I revealed that I wanted to write poetry.
I painted my first canvas as a high school senior:
“The Breast” — an enormous painting of my bronze right teat.

February 22, 2023 · 5 Comments

Christine Fair: Triptych

If she had a girl, she wanted her to be pretty-popular-slender-cheerleader.
She got me.
She named me Carol.

February 18, 2023 · 7 Comments

Julie Poole: The Underground Economy of Unpaid Care

More than 40 million people provide unpaid care for adults. My mother was one of them.

December 22, 2022 · 3 Comments

Video: Long Line of Ladies

This film intimately observes the months-long process of one girl, her family, and their tight-knit Karuk community as they come together to prepare for her Ihuk, the coming-of-age ceremony for girls.

December 11, 2022 · 4 Comments

Elizabeth Gargano: Why We Should Try Talking to the Dead

After my father’s death, my mother kept talking to him.

November 18, 2022 · 8 Comments

Elizabeth Kirschner: Time and Again

As the fire taught the house how to surrender, the dolls, they screamed, not me, oh they screamed like ashes that smelled of church pews.

October 14, 2022 · 13 Comments

Jennifer Harman: When parents turn children into weapons, everybody loses

Domestic abuse can involve one parent using a child as a weapon against the other parent, which harms the child in immense ways. My research has identified how these dynamics play out and examines the damage.

September 29, 2022 · Leave a comment

Dawn Potter: About Mothers

How can I judge the worth of a brooding life?
In a busy restaurant my giant son leans his head on my shoulder,
and I am his mother again, lifting his memory into my arms.

August 22, 2022 · 4 Comments

Elizabeth Gaskell: On Visiting the Grave of My Stillborn Little Girl

I think of thee in these far happier days

July 1, 2022 · 2 Comments

Dawn Potter: Now that I’m old

now that I don’t have sex every night or carry two fat boys,
one on each hip, up small mountains,
I have to go to exercise class

March 7, 2022 · 4 Comments

Wendy Mnookin: In the Small Rotary

where Route 100 meets School Street,
two cows graze.

March 2, 2022 · 1 Comment

Sally Bliumis-Dunn: Diminution

Did she believe—she did, I think— the right
cliché could save us, help us not to feel
alone, so many bees in that same hive—
spilt milk, sow’s ear, Achilles heel.

January 31, 2022 · 2 Comments

Valerie Duff: Follow You Into

In the Wellesley 
Botanic Gardens
the seedlings 
spread in rows

January 19, 2022 · Leave a comment

Wendy Mnookin: A Love Poem

I don’t want to complain about my mother, because she did a lot of nice things. Some very considerate things. She came to Boston when my younger son was born … Continue reading

January 12, 2022 · 5 Comments

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