Heather Mydosh




The redbud popped last week

scattering caps and petals over the dead grass

and the greening of the wild onion tufts

in the backyard, between the kitchen

and the alley, overlooked by the vacant eyes

of the adjacent house and the ribs

of a too-skinny dog who’ll howl fit to kill if he’s not over

on his side in the chain-link dirt domain.

It was pretty, that redbud,

but now the wind has twisted off

one of the middle branches

as thick as a child’s neck

and it hangs like a broken arm

tapping against the trunk

waiting to eventually splinter, eventually fall

but it will in its time, I can’t hurry it,

I sent the boy out to pull on it,

haul it off to the burn heap

but he swung on it til dark

and the greenwood wouldn’t let go,

didn’t know it was already dead

the smear of purple petals

between his fingers and in the scratch

on his cheek when he finally gave up

and it wouldn’t come off when I scrubbed him

in the fiberglass bathtub with the rust stains

and it’s just as well, the heap needs firing

but there’s rabbits in it now with their babies

and three springs ago, back before the boy,

when we turned the bramble, thorns, ashes,

I stepped on the blackened skull

and the white ribs, the singed fur sticking

to the bottom of my left boot, that concealed

the huddling kits, their little lungs starved out

and eyes pressed shut against the death and heat

but we tried to save them, the two who weren’t dead,

put them in my sweatshirt, washed them

with ivory soap in the bathroom sink

and they coughed through the night

but were cold in the morning

and as I stepped on the back of the square-ended shovel

to dig a hole between that redbud

and the stump of the apricot tree

the irony of the heat having killed them

and death hardening their thin limbs with cold

pressed me down, down into the sadness beneath

beneath the skinny dog and vacant house

and sagging porch and broken limbs

and scratched skin and dead grass

and empty garden beds and broken glass

the old brick, cracked cement, wild lilacs overgrown

down beneath it all, all of it, everything I have grown

to hate, and tend in hatred, accept in hatred,

everything that will outlast my hatred

when I am the mother rabbit with her twisted neck

and the shielded smallness dies anyway

under all of this, there must be some vast reservoir

of all kinds of pain as it seeps through the clay ground

and forms underground rivers that run

with the tears and blood and settled dust of screams in this place

which we will pulverize and render

into unwholesome gasses brought forth to burn again

lighting our new sadnesses, the death of new rabbits,

the breaking of new limbs, the chipping of new dishes,

the splintering of the new wood, and I don’t want to look at it

anymore, I don’t want the hope of the redbud

anymore, I don’t want to scrub the grit prints

off the cracked handle of the secondhand refrigerator door

one more goddamn time. I don’t want it.

I don’t want it anymore. I wouldn’t even try to sell it.

Heather Mydosh is a transplant to Independence, Kansas where she teaches composition and literature at Independence Community College, and is affiliated with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Institute for Diplomacy. A native of Michigan, she was the 2014 Kansas Voices poet, and has had her poetry and short fiction featured in Inscape Magazine, velvet-tail, After the Pause, Kansas Time + Place, 99 Pine Street, and The Corvus Review. She holds her Masters of Literature from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in Comparative Literature and Thought.



Deep Water Literary Journal

2015 - Issue 2 - August





Elizabeth Bodien (USA)

All Souls' Night


Chanel Brenner (USA)

Back at the El Encanto Twenty Years Later


Claire Vogel Camargo (USA)

Touching the Edge of Darkness


Saddiq Dzukogi (Nigeria)



S.E. Gale (Australia)

The Reliquary


Gary Glauber (USA)

In Philippa’s Hands




Clare Hepworth-Wain (England)

To mark her passing


Strider Marcus Jones (England)

The Two Saltimbanques


Robert S. King (USA)

Inside a Photograph

The Ghosts of Machu Picchu


Steve Klepetar (USA)

almost from the first

If It Comes to That


Ron. Lavalette (USA)



Sada Malumfashi (Nigeria)



Rasmenia Massoud (France)

Ghosts in My Skin

Open Mike Night


Catfish McDaris (USA)

Gone Amazon

Soldier Blues


Pat J Mullan (Ireland)

Mother Perfection


Christine Murray (Ireland)




Heather Mydosh (USA)



Caleb J. Oakes (USA)

Extended Forms of Hunger

Frown For Me


David O’Neill (Ireland)

Decisions in the Dark Room


Rachel C. Peters (USA)



Mark Antony Rossi (USA)

This Ancient City

Transatlantic Transfiguration


Walter Ruhlmann (France)

Distorted Echo

The Lips of the Wolf


John Saunders (Ireland)

Murphy is Out for the Summer


Terry Savoie (USA)

Buttermilk Poem


Larry Schug (USA)

As If We Were Not Brothers


Pepper Swell (USA)

Cold Fury


The Man in the Black Pyjamas (Ireland)