Black River


By Marike Stucky

In the beginning, little ones,
 Sky Woman dreamt of white blossoms plucked by darkness.
 She was ripe with child and
 was terrified.

The Tree of Life ripped from the threshold
 between water and sky,
 a cavernous void.

She fell.

Delicate fingers clutched at earth, at seedlings
 She tumbled into the abyss, hair streaming behind; black river.

 Creatures of flight
 cradled the poor girl in their great wings
 laid her gently upon the shell of Grandmother Turtle
 black river kissing the mosaic clean.

Nestled in the Crook


By Marike Stucky

She listens for his motions, attentively,

but does not hear for the blare of the television.

It’s switched on

the couch

she’s nestled in the crook.

As a little girl

I listened closely as well,

but now I have seen

the things that men can do.

I feel the fear

that salted her trembling lips.

I only wanted someone to love, she tells me.

Can I climb my way out?

The voice-over keeping on

from the television


The Trouble with Life Enrichment Is

Short Stories

By Marike Stucky       

   She looked at me as if to say, “Well duh, you little shit.”

            I had asked this woman sitting on the curb, whose face was like a dried apricot—all orange and crinkly—if anyone was home at this time of day. Of course someone was home. This home was always occupied. The smoke drifting up from the woman’s cigarette seared my nostrils—I’m allergic to cigarette smoke—and drove me to action. I turned from the apricot woman and jogged up the steps leading to the house. Door. Handle. Open.

            “Hello?” I asked into the dismal entryway of house number 314. There was a staircase filling the space to my right; a living room devoid of the living on my left. A few potted plants dotted the living room—they had long past died. There were some squashy arm chairs in there, all with horrible floral prints. I was standing in the foyer. I’d left footprints in the dust as I had traipsed in.

             “Uh, Madge? You in here?”