Alarie Tennille


There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
            from “Anthem,” by Leonard Cohen

Just as I was creeping out of my winter cocoon,
turning off my S.A.D. light, COVID shoved
me back into darkness. No need to list all
my cancellations and disappointments –
no worse than yours.

So how did 2020 not just stretch, but shuffle
time?  Where did summer go? How could it be dark 
before 6:00 p.m.?  Last night I glanced in the bathroom 
mirror and saw a shimmering gold fleck on my face. 
Glitter from a Christmas card, I thought, 
but it didn’t wash off.

I felt my cheek – a pinprick. Opened my mouth
and light poured out. I blew shining kisses
into the air, giggled as my cat leapt at them.

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.