Since 1996 Volume XXII

                      Dianna MacKinnon Henning





Dianna holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Published in, in part: The Moth, Ireland; Sukoon, Volume 5; Mojave River Review; TheNewVerse.News; Naugatuck River Review; Lullwater Review; The Red Rock Review; Blue Fifth Review; The Main Street Rag; Clackamas Literary Review; 22 wagons by Danijela TrajkovićIstok Akademia, an anthology of contemporary Anglophone poetry; California Quarterly; Poetry International and Fugue. Three-time Pushcart nominee. Henning taught through California Poets in the Schools, received several CAC grants and through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program.  She runs the Thompson Peak Writers’ Workshop. Henning’s third poetry book Cathedral of the Hand published 2016 by Finishing Line Press.



A rooster crowed at the first


strike of light, awaking the stone

child who held her own


child, and was herself

a child. In England, the first


rhubarb of the year is harvested

by candlelight to enhance a more

tender, sweeter stalk.  There’s even


a Rhubarb Triangle, where growing-sheds

dot the land. This resembles wonder. Salt


on rhubarb is what you remember. You

offer a bite to the stone child. She

wrinkles her face into a smile. You’ll never


get used to the way memory

makes you live many lives.  In a single season

of rhubarb, countless


stone children are unearthed.


What about


the sparrow that struck

our kitchen window,


leaving spiny plumes until I brushed

them off, washed the spots


they’d stuck at?


When the bird hit,

I said, Take a look.


You reported no movement.

So, I said, Place the bird


on a porch pillow,

they sometimes summon


back breath.

Throughout the morning,


I checked on my sparrow.

Not a twitch,


and the following day

it remained stiff, eyes pearling.


Prince of the pillow,

should I find those downy feathers,


search the Bounty paper

towel, affix them back onto your wing,


before I dig,

lower you into that last

land we stand by?


To Kiss Water


There’s so much temperature in water

that rises and wanes


with the seasons. Pouring

water is not like splashing


around. The side


stroke, my dad’s favorite; You

can see where you’ve been, he’d say. That thin


skin of lake water was

enough to cover me. Underneath waves,


I found the smoothest

skipping stone.


That’s what I dove for,

and what I hoped to treasure


when above, the world froze

and I could no longer see where I’d been.






Copyright, Dianna  Mackinnon Henning.



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