Well, MockingHeart friends, it’s that time of year again. Our part of the world has begun its slow pivot away from the sun, and the days are beginning to get shorter, if also slowly, in such a way that the nights feel just a bit crisp, and the mornings have that twinge of hope for a cooler day ahead. Even here in Louisiana, the deep southern kingdom of perpetual heat, this is beginning to be true.
Fall, to me, has always felt like the season of reflection, a metaphorical cooling to accompany the literal–and on the heels of the pandemic (which they say is beginning to head out of town), it’s worth reveling in the fact that that we’ve made it through–through the year, the virus, and the mundane roadblocks we’ve conquered with aplomb. Even so, some of that reflection includes a sense of heartbreak. From people we care about to ways of life we can’t quite get back, the pandemic has caused many facets of our lives to become gradually or suddenly absent, and making ourselves whole again after all of that separation can be a big task. The work in this issue address this concept of heartbreak, on both the individual and the global level. As Featured Poet Sandra Storey aptly puts it, when the world shifts in such a way, “the same sun shines, / but sharp through bare branches.” We become part of an alternate universe, as Steve Brisendine notes in “Kansas City Which is Not Really Kansas City: Dream IV”: “This is the only one of me left, the one who sits and waits.” We all wait for different outcomes, different mornings, some more-definite cleaving of the new from the same. In “Trials of the Season,” Robert Pegel remarks that “the mind is a funny thing,” and it’s a good point–especially if one stays too long therein, as has happened to so many folks over the past few years.
I hope you enjoy the work in this issue, friends. Thanks for reading, for submitting, and for being a part of the MockingHeart community. Things wouldn’t be the same without you. And thanks again, as ever, for your excellent work in the world.
Tyler Robert Sheldon, Editor-in-Chief