Our family closet by Joan McNerney

Our family closet

is full of cracked
skulls beginning
with nancy
“mother’s never
going to be
sick again —
see her steady hands”
cured 20 times

or take
aunt edna
shock treatment
in doctor’s
split level office

cruel irish grandfather
another lunatic
who chose
farming over teaching
tripling size
of fingers
don’t forget
uncle alcohol
plus patriot sister
with american eagle
in living room
& prison record

none of them will
ever read
secret secrets
exposed add a couple
of 40-year-old
virgins & go
clear off a shelf
for me too.


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze, Blueline, and Halcyon Days. Three Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Review Journals, and numerous Kind of A Hurricane Press Publications have accepted her work. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky and she has four Best of the Net nominations.

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