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Maureen Thorson Taps into Tenderness & Family

Court Green - Fall 2019Magazine Review by Katy Haas

The thumbnails of the Fall 2019 of Court Green mostly show silhouetted scenes of courtship—men playing musical instruments or bowing on knees before women, scenes of dancing and kissing. In her two poems, Maureen Thorson writes of a different sort of relationships and intimacy, instead focusing on family.

“Shore Leave, July” builds slowly, the speaker follows a nameless “you” on a journey “down the highway / lined with big box stores, their quiet parking lots.” At the end of the poem we find it’s a parent bringing home “the flimsy, careful box that held, / as always, eleven donuts—” for the family. Soft tenderness radiates from this piece, the donut a symbol of affection, “puckered as a kiss.” On a personal level, this reminded me of my own family’s Sunday traditions when I grew up—visiting my great grandma after church and then eating lunch together before going home and spending time with each other—the poem carries the same feeling as these memories for me.

In her second poem, “The Poppies, the Grandmothers,” Thorson compares poppies to grandmothers post WWII. Tenderness carries through to this piece, regarding these women with reverence. She expertly carries the comparison through from beginning to end, never forcing the similes she comes up with.

Clicking the Court Green thumbnails, readers are never quite sure what they’re going to get, and Thorson definitely does not disappoint with her two family-based poems.

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