Joann Deiudicibus teaches writing and poetry courses in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her poems and articles about poetry appear in WaterWrites, A Slant of Light, & Reflecting Pool (Codhill Press), The Comstock Review, Typishly, Poetry Quarterly, Stone Poetry Quarterly, The Shawangunk Review, Chronogram, and Affective Disorder and the Writing Life (Palgrave Macmillan). Ask her about true crime, cats, and confessionalism. 


The man next door is useful.

He mows around our shed in spring, cuts

firewood, stacking it smartly for winter.

His wife comes outside only in morning,

shuffles down the driveway, crossing the road

to the mailbox. She is pale as an ocean

stone with sand-scraped skin

softened by the circling sea.

Now, it is summer. Her husband

skims the in-ground pool.

For hours, he stands over nearly-

clear water removing debris.

He never stops skimming, skips

breakfast, work, phone calls, dessert.

The grass grows high against the shed.

The lawn stretches lazily as the wind yawns.

The mailbox shuts its mouth:

it is full of unanswered statements.

The man next door skims

the surface of the unused pool.

He catches leaves, Polly noses, Japanese beetles.

At night, he dreams of quarantine: black

iridescent blotches, Rorschach

butterflies floating into white net.

-Joann Deiudicibus

(Originally Published in Typishly 2020)

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Survivor's Guilt

Prepare yourself.

Prepare your shoeless feet for

paths scattered with stone, shells, bone-shatter, casings.

There will be flowers,

stems bound like limbs,

bunches of legs dangling above water;

flowers pulled from fields,

dug from torn ground, rootless.

There will be blood-black blooms,

mud-colored hair spilling like petals,

dark shards arranged in sharp angles.

Those chosen could not prepare:

Captives cast off like chaff

or thrown atop pyres,

stalks askew, barbed leaves lifting

like ash-flecked palms in prayer.

Prepare yourself:

the rampart about your heart bursting with grief,

as shrapnel seeps into tight red bud. 

-Joann Deiudicibus

(originally published in the Shawangunk Review)

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