It sounds so accusatory,
always indicative of a crime.

In any context, in any newspaper, the word
is predicative of a crime.

Accent the first syllable
and youíre the fugitive of the crime;

accent the second
and youíre accusative of a crime.

Thinking about it on such a grand scale
made me combative towards a crime.

You said I was wrong.
It was your prerogative, not a crime.

Maybe silence is only a misdemeanor,
an error, not definitive of a crime.

Do it again
and itís definitely a crime.

by Danielle Mebert

Danielle Mebert is currently enrolled in the MFA Program at Adelphi University where she received her BA in English and her MA in Secondary Education. She teaches seventh and eighth grade English in New York. This is her first publication.


I'm making puttanesca from a jar.
I'd whip it up from scratch, but what the hell--
I'd rather spend my time in Guido's bar.

My mother came from Rome before the war.
She taught me how to knead the pappardelle;
she cooked all day and never used a jar

except when canning for St. Anne's bazaar.
Instead of Chips Ahoy we ate pizzelli
(you can get them still in Guido's bar).

My mother's sauce, slow-cooked with lots of gar-
lic, peppers, onions, topped with mozarella--
was nothing you can purchase in a jar

at Central Market. Homemade's best by far,
but that's for folks who don't live near a deli,
don't hang out most nights in Guido's bar.

I haven't time to bake lasagna or
clean up the pans or write a villanella.
I'll just heat puttanesca from a jar,
put on some heels, and head for Guido's bar.

by Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor currently co-administers the online metrical poetry workshop Poet & Critic. She held the position of Administrator at Eratosphere from 2001-2007, and has served as Light Verse Editor at Umbrella Journal since its inception last year. Her poems have been published in various journals and anthologies including Iambs & Trochees, Light Quarterly, The Barefoot Muse, Umbrella Journal, Susquehanna Quarterly, and Alsop Review Print Anthology I. Recently one of her poems provided the text for a choral and orchestral arrangement by classical composer Randol Bass. Carol works in Houston as a bilingual assistant and freelance translator and sings with the Texas Master Chorale.

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