Martin Willitts Jr.


What Hadn’t I Known That Could Have Made Any Difference

when someone we know dies
we feel like we are in a trance
like a horse realizing it cannot run
in the openness
even if it had five hearts
and clover was everywhere 





we think                      it is rain
tapping on our foreheads


why don’t you notice me





in the zenith
inflamed overwhelming sky
is emptying healing rain

and all of this time
I thought
love was untranslatable






Nasturtiums brightened the alfalfa fields.
I hated to cut them with a scythe.

I begged, “Can it wait?”

My Amish grandmother nodded, understanding —
the heart summons,
flapping like wash on a clothesline.

When lost and frightened,
light careens in the ventricles of the heart.

My hands would guide the scythe another day.







Martin Willitts Jr is a retired Librarian. He is the winner of the 2014 Dylan Thomas International Poetry Award; and, Rattle Ekphrastic Challenge, June). 2015, Editor’s Choice. He has over 20 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, “The Wire Fence Holding Back the World” (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including “Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed” (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and “Three Ages of Women” (Deerbrook Editions, 2017).