Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15



Holly Guran
| poetry


No moon.
Not even a lamb
to leap the gates.
No shepherd with his staff
curled at the top.
Thy rod and thy staff
no comfort.
The sheep all sleeping
in the fields of Cavan.
The great-grand folks
asleep in Drumagoland,
their graves
in the plot
of the white church
in Bellasis.
Their daughter gone
from the by-ways
from the hollows
never returns
but gives son and daughter
her parents’ names.
My mother gives the world
daughters, knows little
of sheep and by-ways.
I visit, take photos,
sit in the pew.
It’s so late
or is it early?
The sheep start to wake.
One by one
they are leaping
over the gates.

Holly Guran, author of River of Bones, River Tracks and Mothers’ Trails, earned a Massachusetts Cultural Council award. Her work has appeared in Poet Lore, Poetry East, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Borderlands, Worcester Review, and Salamander. Holly resides in Boston with her husband, Phil, and their dog, Ginger.

The Maid’s Story