Inside The Greensboro Review’s simple cover is complex fiction and poetry. The first poem and story – “The Voice Before” by Melody S. Gee and “The Glass Mountain” by Aimee Pokwatka are Robert Watson Prize winners. Pokwatka's story weaves a thematic fairytale told by an aunt into a story about a young woman, her sister, and her lover. The language is delightful: “It was a stupid question, but we forgave him because his eyes were the color of a sandstorm, and he sat still as an injured bird.”
Thomas Derr’s “Clutter” tells the story of a young man who hasn’t given up hope on recovering his ex-girlfriend. When the young man goes to his ex’s house to help her move a dead deer, the author does an excellent job of showing both how the young man feels he still belongs in the house and how he still loves his ex, without explicitly saying so. Anne Corbitt, in “The Bicycle,” also does well demonstrating a middle-aged man’s frustration with his gradual estrangement from his wife and son, while the monologue, Craig Foltz’s “Owl Eyes,” has an interesting and engaging voice.
I enjoyed the natural imagery in many of the poems. “The Voice Before” begins “Echoes uncurl down this canyon / like patient honey rolling.” My favorite poem, Anne Coray’s “The Days are Short,” mentions the many natural wonders we miss during our hurried, short days: “Again you failed to record the clouds, / to capture their gradient and gain.” And Benjamin Miller describes a soldier’s thoughts in a field: “He thinks: the sun will never teach / the horizon how it climbs, how many // plume moths make a century, how we / disappear.”
The journal’s thirteen poems and seven short stories are carefully chosen and arranged. I enjoyed this issue’s moments of joy and poignancy, and I’ll look forward to the next The Greensboro Review.