Right as Rain
by Luellen Fletcher

"The North sea is getting darker
and darker without sun
and what little light
is left in me
seems also to go out."

This collection of verses is founded on personal experiences and social commentary. Readers take virtual walks, sit with men who wear Chester Bennington's shirts, and leave Edinburgh on an evening train where strangers' paths cross and chance meetings possess the power to change a person's perception forever. In other poems, readers "string fireflies together" and reflect on the role parents play in one's appreciation of life's often unnoticed gifts: "I owe them my love of water / Droplets, snowflakes, shore rings, fog." Readers "stretch and bob while floating" as they "Consider floaters from doomed ships / Lost to endless sway and sky" as isolation takes its toll.

Contemporary in its themes and subject matters, this book's heart beats with the understanding that small moments and encounters impact people more than they realize. A sense of futility fills readers as, in "My Covid Swim," the narrator reflects that "Words cannot touch / What I scrape within." This isolated moment gives way to "Prayer for George," in which the fight for justice continues: "His sister his voice in the courtroom / Fighting for justice, praying / That fear would exhaust itself / That we might change." If anything, the poems call for readers to find commonality, that liminal space where even though no words might pass between two people, one can believe that "I believe I am forgiven / for not saying goodbye." Like Fran Wilde's Clock Star Rose Spine, this work powerfully shares the vulnerabilities many reluctantly share, and seasoned poetry readers will find themselves reading this collection's offerings more than once.

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