Photography © Jennifer Matthews


What’s That Smell?

Dead rat
up the chimney,

the stink
oozing into the parlor
growing more putrid
by the hour.

This is not
what you expected
when you
moved in together.

In perfect relationships,
it’s a bird trapped
up there.

You reach up,
rescue the trembling creature,
open a window,
let it fly to freedom.

But you’re
at the mercy
of a decomposing rat.
You open a window.
Both flap your wings.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.