Poems by Amy Small-McKinney


Dear Self,

Being{seeing & yes}

All this stood upon her and was the world…
—Rilke, “The Grownup” (trans. S. Mitchell)


Her shoulders are mountains—
you see mountains.

Pass her on a road
your head down in thought or regret.

You do not see the body or its open window, do you?
Now the window is shut.

I am this woman. Love being alive
more than ever, with or without you. With or without.

My body, a belief in winning and losing.
My body, a hollow inside a mountain. When it opens

it opens. A lamb escapes, bleats into
the cold-shoulder of wind, and wind finally listens.


Amy Small-McKinney’s book of poems, Walking Toward Cranes, won the Kithara Book Prize 2016 (Glass Lyre Press). Her poem “Prayer” is forthcoming in “101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium.” Her poem “Birthplace” received Special Merits recognition by The Comstock Review for their 2019 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest. Small-McKinney’s poems have also been translated into Romanian and Korean.


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