Skip to main content

Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
Contact Us


(via “Romance” by W. J. Turner)



She said the name playfully.


I’ve seen that volcano

covered with snow

in Mexico.


I stood where Popocatepetl

In the sunlight gleams.


The graffiti reeled past

the windows of the van.

Coloring the cinderblock square

and filthy air.

But just up there…


Shining Popocatepetl

The dusty streets did rule.


She stirred the pot

and called me by my sister’s name.

Her mind was getting worse.

It was a curse.

But she still quoted verse.


She sang ditties and

poems to the kids.

She mimicked the chickadee-dee-dee

and laughed with glee

with my sister and me.


We sat by her bed and

saw the clubs of her hands.

I watched her eyes close.

Her chest fell and rose.

I wonder if she knows?


After a decade, could we set her free?

Her son said: It’s not up to me.

Maybe in there she can see

the chickadee.

The chickadee-dee-dee.


O shining Popocatepetl

It was thy magic hour:


The houses, people, traffic seemed

Thin fading dreams by day;

Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,

They had stolen my soul away!


I couldn’t watch the decay and

fled to the sunroom.

The TV evangelist felt the need to scold

the gathered, gray lumps. The old.

I ran out into the cold.


Maybe, behind her eyes, she said the name playfully.


There’s no way to know

if she saw the snow

on our volcano.


—Eric Chandler