Archives for category: LOST & FOUND

pork chop zazzle
That Smell
by Katley Demetria Brown

I wanted to bake pork chops for dinner.
But I couldn’t find them anywhere.
They weren’t in the fridge and they weren’t in the freezer.
Maybe I left them at Aldi.
Maybe they disappeared in some black hole.

The next day I drove to work and wondered why
my car smelled
like something had died.
I looked under the seats
and in the trunk. Was it the wet towel
that I took to the beach the other day?
I could not find the source of the stink
that got progressively worse in summer’s heat.
Air fresheners and Lysol couldn’t touch it.

My husband opened the trunk to look for a tire gauge
and then the odor assaulted him.
He found a package of pork chops
under the spare tire.
Ooh, that smell . . .

IMAGE: Pork chop sticker, available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In my experience, lost items often fall into “black holes.” At my house, we have a laundry hamper with orphan socks (just in case their mates show up). Two summers ago, I went to the Aldi supermarket to buy the week’s groceries. For some reason, the pork chops were missing. Although I had searched the car earlier, I couldn’t find them. The next day, when my husband opened the trunk of the car to search for a tire gauge, the stench hit him immediately. He found the package of pork chops under the spare tire. He double-bagged the offending item and put it in the trash.


Katley Demetria Brown
was born in New York City and grew up in the South Bronx. She has traveled extensively in the eastern United States and in Europe, and writes about people, places, and nature. Her work has been featured in Internet and print publications including the international anthology series The Art of Being Human and the Silver Birch Press website. After traveling through the United States and Europe, she settled down in Springfield, Massachusetts, with her family. She has lost (and sometimes found) many items during life’s journey.

phillip capper
by Alan Walowitz

A history buff, I chose the spot on Mayflower, which I was certain I’d
but probably would never be able to find again
the way the streets wind around each other and stop dead at the Hutch,
then you gotta walk under the el on Westchester
where the streets on the other side tend to have new names;
or you make a wrong turn, walk a while, and get mesmerized
by the Thai bodegas that sell exotic flowers outside,
and Ecuadorian skin treatment joints offering lava facials,
and the China Criolla with the combination plate of chicken wings and
     fried rice
and platanos for $4.95 which could get anyone through dinner,
and soon you find yourself at 95, which you can’t get on anyway without
     a car,
but why would you want to when you’re looking for where you parked?
This part of the Bronx, Tremont, ought to be a wonderland
of hills and rills and rocky outcrops and kids climbing trees
but it’s where Robert Moses bulldozed right through people’s kitchens
to create the promised land, mobile f-ing America;
he’d make sure there were plenty of ways—north, or west, or south–
for a guy with a car to get his ass out of the Bronx.
But now it’s just a beautiful dream—half the people only got the wheels
     on the bus,
which take you round and round and no farther than the city line,
and the other half can’t even find where the hell they parked.

SOURCE: “Tremont” originally appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily.

PHOTO: “Subway at 173rd Street, The Bronx, New York City” (2/12/2008) by Phillip Capper, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I work with first-year teachers who are trying to make their way in the world of education in some of the most challenging schools in New York City.  The English teacher I was watching gave the students the assignment to write, vividly, about their neighborhood.  I did the assignment too, but I wrote about the part of the Bronx I was in, which I got to study very closely the previous time I was there when I couldn’t remember where I had parked my car.  Most of her students did a better job than I did, but they’ll have to send their own writing to Silver Birch Press!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan Walowitz has been published various places on the web and off.  He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John’s University in Queens.  His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is in its second printing and is available from Osedax Press. His second chapbook is seeking a publisher and is currently called What Happiness Looked Like, but, as his tailor once told him, will alter to suit.

Celtic Friendship Knot
by Kirsty A. Niven

A solid gold band, intricately weaved.
Its cool metal used to hug my finger.
Twisting and turning, round and round,
the knotwork never ending
and never beginning.

You told me it was a symbol
of how our friendship would last forever.
The ring was Gran’s before me.
Connecting us across the miles between us,
I wore it every day.

I hate to imagine what became of it,
stolen away in the night.
Was it liquefied over a furnace?
Or does it sit on the finger of some fat wife?
A link lost to me

IMAGE: Celtic ring found at


Kirsty A. Niven
is from Dundee, Scotland, where she lives with her husband and two cats. Her poetry has appeared in The Dawntreader, The Machinery, GFT Presents: One in Four, Sarasvati, A Prince Tribute, LOVE: A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Loving and Being in Love, Poetry Super Highway, Artificial Womb, the Ground Fresh Thursday series, Journeys Dundee and numerous other publications.

joe fox
Lost Putter
by Aimee Mackovic

of course the neglected putter
was lost to a coat of rust

after a year on the uncovered balcony,
what surprised me was

my sadness, like the soul jolt of finding
a picture faded and yellowed

with age. I threw the coveted putter,
my favorite club for over twenty years,

into the trash, hating it, hating it
for tarnishing the rounds of rare family golf

with time, hating it for not staying the same,
hating it for refusing to remain

that anchor, for cutting me loose, for knowing
how to move on, hating it for its wanton liberty

of taking its secrets to the grave, hating it so much
one might think my cheek held only a tear

PHOTO: “Golfer Taking the Swing” by Joe Fox. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Aimee Mackovic is a poet and professor from Austin, Texas. Her books, Potpourri and Dearly Beloved: the Prince poems, can be found at Find her on Facebook at Aimee Mackovic. Twitter and Instagram: @aimeemackovic.

by Annasofia Padua

The day I found my mother’s journals,
I was bathing in similarities stamped onto her pictures.

There has always been something about her that I want to relate to.

There is a whole earth in the stories,
a world in which her skin was the soil.

Her words were the natural disasters,
threatening to shake their way out from her mouth,
from her pores.

They told me her hair grew as fast as mine,
I wrote in a story one time that it was because
I had all this energy my heart couldn’t pump out,

I think it was true in her case.

I remember the day I found her journals as I
was sunk by the slow digestion of my grandma’s cooking,
everything seems to run quicker in the States.

it’s like my ancestry pulls me by my shoulders
and my ankles even my stomach,

like I could melt into the pavement
and a native flower would grow in my place,

in the States it feels like anything will
eat me up before that happens.

I was holding up truths that seemed accurate to me,
while observing how light bounced off her cheeks
and how she could harvest it at the same time.

My nose was getting itchy,
my aunt’s voice was poking at my throat,

I wouldn’t cry because she knew more,
or because what she knew,
collapsed my truths.

There in all of the dusty pictures, lay a black journal,
the handwriting ugly, like mine,
a similarity I could be proud of.

I found her journals hours after I had written a poem,
I found out she loved someone other than my father,
I found out she was a poet.

IMAGE: “Girl reading at window” (stock image).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this piece about finding my mother’s journals full of poetry while looking through boxes of her photo albums. She died when I was one and ever since I remember, I have been writing poetry. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that she also wrote poetry by stumbling upon those journals. It became a moment of clarity in my search for my own purpose, it was also beautiful to find out the way I did, and not by someone telling me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annasofia Padua is Senior at Miami Arts Charter majoring in Creative Writing. She has published poetry in several magazines and she focuses her art mostly around self-exploration. Annasofia Padua has written works in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Anna loves being outdoors and finds that the natural world inspires her the most.

hat ad 2
Left Behind
by Barbara Eknoian

There wasn’t enough room
in the U-Haul.
We abandoned our first
cream-colored kitchen table,
which still resides back east
at my cousin’s house,
and boxes of Bradley’s
Dress Store clothing,
made of materials I don’t see,
or can’t afford anymore:
matte jerseys, organza
and fine-sheared woolens.
My wedding gown
of French satin,
with wine spots on the hem,
a pearl gray coat
with a silver fox collar,
and my father’s brown fedora.

But those were just things.
I left behind precious people,
my mom, recently widowed,
my l4-year-old kid brother,
my maiden aunts, used to me
dropping by to visit.
My friends next door,
a daily fun part of our lives,
and I left a lot of me.
When my brother mails me
a package,
I’m thrilled to find an 8 x 10
framed sepia photo of my dad
wearing his brown fedora.
And then I notice his smile;
it was so much like mine.

IMAGE: Detail from vintage hat ad.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Cadence Collective Anthology, and Silver Birch Press’s Silver, Green, Summer, NOIR Erasure Poetry, and  Self-Portrait anthologies. She resides in La Mirada, California, with her family. Her poetry book, Why I Miss New Jersey, and a novel, a family saga,  Monday’s Child are available at Amazon.

A Treasure Chest
by Terri Miller

A treasure chest
of whispers from the past

In a home with
devastating memories!

When my mother and brother
went to their
final resting place.

The family home
was padlocked by
the bank.

It took several years
to obtain entrance
into the home, just

to find rubble three
feet high in
every room.

I frantically looked
room by room, on
my hands and knees,

to find pictures of
memories past.

As I cleaned the
rooms, I reached my

Recovered the pictures
foreclosure at last.

PHOTO: “Box of photos” by, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In July 2016 I returned home to Rhode Island from Florida. Finally, able to settle the estates of my mother and brother. They died in 2012. This process took me four years to enter the family home. In the end all I wanted to retrieve was the pictures.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terri Miller was born and raised in Rhode Island, but now resides in the country part  of Florida. A country girl at heart, she has been writing since grade school. In 2013, after the death of her brother, her poetry became darkened. Around 2015, the darkness lifted. She is a lover of life’s simpler things. Her inspiration for poetry is rooted in faith and family, in love, nature and words.  She believes life is poetry waiting to be written!  What she looks at seems to make her write. She can’t wait to get her thoughts written down, but it’s not always at the right time, because there are so many other things that she should be doing. Like anything else, she is a work in progress and is presently under Major Construction. She has recently been published in the Awakened Voices literary magazine, Silver Birch Press, and Wild Women’s Medicine Circle. Follow along for inspiration or for simple enjoyment at Mia’s Wisdom and My Poetry Express.

Halfway Home
by Nicholas Batdorf

I saw you walking by,
A figment of my mind,
The echo of my dream.

Blink once, blink twice
And you were never here
The way the wind makes smoke disappear.
Poof! In passing
You’ve left me asking
Who? What? How?
If only I could have a name.
Maybe I’d remember.
Remember you forever.
But as fast as you came
You’re already gone.
Like a phantom in the daylight
Running from the sun.

IMAGE: “Woman of Mystery” by Fernand Khnopff (1909)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem at my first day in a drug and alcohol halfway home treatment facility. I had spent the last five months incarcerated or in an in-patient drug and alcohol facility, and this was my first step towards freedom. My intake to the halfway home coincided with a Puerto Rican Pride block party the halfway home shared the street with. The atmosphere was not deemed recovery-friendly, and no one was allowed off of the premises. I was so close to a taste of freedom, but caged within an alleyway on the premises, watching merry partygoers pass. And then I saw her. A tall, graceful woman with dark hair and sun-kissed skin. And in those few moments of her passing by the gateway separating us, time stood still and an eternity of questions and scenarios ran through my mind. What I would have given to even have just a name to attribute to such beauty, a shred of identity to credit that musical, confident walk to. Just as quickly as she came, she was gone. And with her, the music and the light of day seemed to fade.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicholas Batdorf is an avid musician as well as a writer of poetry. His love of music carries forth throughout his writing in his lyrical, rhythmic style. A lover of the visual arts, Nicholas uses vivid imagery to lend his readers’ imaginations ample space to wander within his poems. Follow Nicholas on Instagram @nicky_knack, or Tumblr

What Was Lost
by Kerfe Roig

A taxi,
a wallet:
what was really lost?
No comfort
in this return. Forever
unfillable. Gone.

IMAGE:  Collage by Kerfe Roig.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I got into the back seat of a taxi several years ago, there was a wallet on the floor. I located the owner through the phone number of a friend that was inside. It was a somber face that met me when I went to her apartment building to return the lost property: she had been taking her dog to the vet for the last time.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new. You can follow her explorations on the blog she does with her friend Nina: 

Self-portrait by Kerfe Roig. 

Hat Heaven
by Karen Eastlund

The hat shop caught my attention
But I couldn’t stop at the time
We were in mid-tour
In a foreign country
We didn’t speak the language
Nor would we know where to meet at end of day
We had to stay the course
But I was determined to find that shop again
Later, when I voiced my plan
My husband clasped my arm
With both hands, protesting
“No, you’ll get lost…
You don’t know where you’re going…
I don’t want to lose you….”
Sweet, I thought,
But heedless of my quest for
The perfect hat shop

To be fair, I had been disoriented
A few times on our trip
Had turned right instead of left
So I listened to him
But also convinced him
Until finally
I led us straight to the desired shop

And there they were
Beautiful hats
Shapely and neat
Wool for warmth
In many colors
Accessible for trying on
Plenty of mirrors
Ready assistants
Bringing more and more hats
Gently suggesting an appropriate fit
The hat shop of my dreams!

I walked out in a new woolen cloche,
Navy blue with a bow at one ear,
And a confident smile
That only a well-chosen hat can bring

The next day
When several appeared in new hats
We smiled demurely at one another
Sharing an unspoken sentiment
Great hat!

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me in my hat, taken in January 2017.

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR: This took place in Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO town in Czech Republic that we visited while cruising the Danube. The shop mentioned is without a doubt the best hat shop I have ever found.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Eastlund lives in New Jersey. She is retired after teaching preschool and providing children’s programs at her local library. Karen enjoys her grandchildren, travel, music, reading, gardening, and the practice of writing. She posts regularly on various children’s poetry blogs.