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Pastoral by Roberta Beary

The boy carries his corgi down the stoop of our shared brownstone. His thick arms and delicate fingers were made for tasks like these. He sees me battling bags of groceries. Settles two in one hand. Three in the other. I decide he isn’t a serial killer and lead him through to my kitchen counter. Past the upright silenced by arthritic fingers. We strike a bargain of perpetual weekly shopping. He wheels the piano from 1A to 1B. The corgi herding in a delirium of delight. It’s three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Outside the leaves are falling in anticipation. Listen. The music of the universe is about to start.


Roberta Beary writes to connect with the silenced, to let them know they are heard. Their first poetry collection, The Unworn Necklace, was selected as a Poetry Society of America finalist. Their prose poem chapbook, Deflection, won a Haiku Society of America book award and was a finalist for the Touchstone and Eric Hoffer awards. Their forthcoming second collection, Carousel, won the Snapshot Press book award. Their words appear in Rattle, The New York Times, Best Microfiction, Best Small Fictions, and other publications. Born in New York City, they divide their time between the USA and the west of Ireland.


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