Angelica by Bruce Pemberton | PAROUSIA Magazine


Always eager for
the cheap laugh,
I’d make fun of her brown
teeth, dandruff, moustache,
and long chin hairs.
She’d park her fender-bashed
car in the middle of Main
and shuffle into senior lunch.
She’d drink too much coffee,
fill her chair, spilling the rest
into a growing floor puddle,
souring everyone’s lasagna.

The night she died, I imagined
her alone in the snow and dark,
shuffling out to her empty mailbox
in housecoat and slippers.
She slips and falls,
can’t right herself,
and her faint cries are lost.
After her last cold breath,
she perches on her frozen self,
and discovers enormous new wings.
She stretches and opens them,
flaps once, twice, realizing
that she can fly, so she does.


Bruce Pemberton on Parousia Magazine



Bruce Pemberton is a retired high school English teacher, tennis coach, and Gulf War veteran. His work has appeared in SNAPDRAGON, PALOUSE JOURNAL, NORTHERN JOURNEYS, THE REDNECK REVIEW OF LITERATURE, THIRD WEDNESDAY, SKY ISLAND JOURNAL, FOLIATE OAK, AMERICAN LIFE IN POETRY, DUCK LAKE JOURNAL, OCOTILLO REVIEW, THIMBLE, THE WILD WORD, RIGOROUS, and the anthologies, IN TAHOMA’S SHADOW and SPOKANE WRITES. He lives on the Palouse, in rural eastern Washington state.