My Grandmothers Write Through Me

by Hannah Mitchell

Writing always feels like a seance at my desk.

The souls of my foremothers rise,
Curve, twist themselves through my pen.

(They demand I write in pen.)
(There will be no erasures.)

Let me introduce my hand-me-down heart:
At its core, a lamp trimmed
With cast-off buttons.
(My grandmother's mother couldn't write her own name,
But she raised a half-dozen children
To face the world on their own feet.)

A flame has been prepared for me that I can carry in a basket.

My hand moves,
My past (our past) becoming
Engines of ink.


by Donald L. Patten

Hannah Mitchell has written poetry since she was old enough to scribble. A teacher of English, she earned her master’s degree at Piedmont College and has been in education for over fifteen years. In January 2020, she was chosen to participate in the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. Mitchell writes songs and poetry that are a little too earnest, and usually only publishes her work in anonymous ‘zines.

Donald Patten is an artist from Belfast, Maine. He is currently a senior in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Maine. As an artist, he produces figure drawings and oil paintings. Artworks of his have been exhibited in galleries across the Midcoast region of Maine.

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