I will concede she had the upper hand
at first (or always), but pronounce my
last name like a crackling fire or that degree is wasted.

I guess I knew the job wasn’t concrete (fiddlesticks!)
But I thought I’d give it a blinded effort or two,
for lack of funds, for lack of activity, for that good old
couch-crashing creed that seemed to taste my heart.

So I was out on my can, but I wasn’t like her yet,
with the effects of blond dye and the menopausal symptoms
that left her like bark. So, right now, as I write this,
I’m not in grace’s shadow; Swan Lake never

called to me with its beaks. So that blinded effort or two,
it never paid off in golden bars. Fiddlesticks, fiddlesticks,
my curse jar is exploding like a pyrotechnic hoax
and I have gone and over-exercised my violin.


"Inroads" © Stacy Esch

“Inroads” © Stacy Esch


Amanda Tumminaro lives in Illinois with her family. She enjoys libraries and caffeinated drinks. Her poetry has appeared in Storm Cellar, Sassafras Literary Magazine and Hot Metal Bridge.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published works in Ibbetson Street, Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review. She has produced cover art for chapbooks by Kenneth Pobo (Save My Place and Placemats) and her artwork is featured at Spruce Alley Press, where she published a colorful 2014 Calendar as well as distinctive illustrations for the chapbook, When The Light Turns Green.