Jeanette Willert

Jeanette Willert
is in retirement. They live in a log home on a lake near Birmingham, Alabama.  It is very different here from Buffalo, NY where they were a teacher and professor for 40 years. Some of their poems wander back to their Appalachian youth while many others poke at current events and issues.  Their poems have been published in a range of journals, two anthologies, a chapbook and a forthcoming full book, it was never Eden, later this year, published by Negative Capability Press.

let bygones . . .

Where I grew up in the crumbling
Appalachians, pardoning was not
much practiced.

On Sunday, we curtsied to the notion
of making allowance, forgiveness,

The rest of the week did not admit such weakness.
“Wrong was wrong”. We carried a grudge
with great care.

These decades later, I still taste that bitter
fruit of childhood, astringent as persimmon,
deep in my gut.

Today, the priest lays out his sermon, ends
with “Forgive!”  He argues well.  But human
nature, being what it is, I don’t see the likelihood.

The persimmon is burning where it lies.

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