Alarie Tennille


Leave a Message at the Tone

Sorry I missed your call.
I thought the ringing
was in my ears. Too busy
reading Tarot cards
for my cat and polishing
paper clips – no reflection
on you.

I also missed the Pulitzer
Prize, lifeline call
from Who Wants to Be
a Zillionaire, along with my
raison d’être, which may
be buried in the laundry
hamper, tucked
into a stray sock.

I’m not going to pretty up
the truth. Sometimes
I’m a turtle with my head
pulled into the shell,
a race car stuck in reverse,
a Moscow Mule
in a lead mug. Nowhere
does my résumé say



Alarie Tennille

Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a genius older brother destined for NASA, a ghost, and a yard full of cats. She graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She’s now lived over half her life in Kansas City, where she serves on the Emeritus Board and Programming Committee of The Writers Place. Alarie’s poetry books, Running Counterclockwise and Waking on the Moon, are available on Amazon. Her poems have appeared in I-70 Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, I-70 Review, Midwest Quarterly, and other venues.