April is National Poetry Month. Writer’s Digest has a Poem A Day challenge, which I’m going to participate in. A few of those poems will end up here. Check out the link if you want to try the challenge, too.


The challenge for the twenty-ninth is to write a magical poem–or a realistic poem–or a poem that combines both qualities, in memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Since magical realism is some wonderful stuff, and Mr. Garcia Marquez was quite a writer, I had to do this one.

*   *    *


Modest town dominated by a struggling

textile factory

the owner’s family rooted in the founders

so he knows that if the factory closes

the town will slowly strangle

unless it grows a second heart

to pump commerce through the streets

Every year, new closure signs bloom

a bright desperate rot

eating away at the town’s remains

Still it is safe to walk the night dark streets


though the edges

where the town


to sparse empty-eyed buildings and a lone

straight stretch of highway

and nothing but woods until the outer sprawl

of the big city fifty miles away

lack street lights to drive back the dark

Out of those shadows

one warm summer night came a ringing

echoing trumpeting

and a crashing stomping thunder

as a herd of elephants

somehow on the wrong continent

flattened trees and bushes

and then unlucky cars and fences and walls

Stunned, people lifted cell phones

recorded the stampede

the herd passed through town and was gone

footprints vanished a mile outside the limits

no evidence of the animals

that biologists and reporters could find

though some searched for days

The town council made posters and post cards

gave interviews

put up placards

welcomed tourists with open hands



About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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