Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

         Two Poems


by Jessica Dealing

I Never Actually Said That
 
I was the girl who read All Quiet
on the Western Front and flunked
 
the test because, although I read it all,
my mind must’ve wandered. War is so tedious
 
and male with its guns and uniforms,
ranks and commands. My dad demanded
 
my teacher give me another assignment.
He said, My daughter doesn’t believe in war
 
and Mrs. Hedeman said,
But she’s aware it exists, right?

 

 
Wisdom of Children
 
When I’m a Big Kid,
we used to say, us Avalon
neighborhood kids pointing
to our mom’s gardening gloves
or our dad’s lawn-mowing
shoes. When I’m a Big
Kid, I will wear that.
It wasn’t a game
but we played it anyway.
 
How did you grow so big?
my three-year-old niece asks
and my mouth can’t form
an answer because I have no idea
how our bodies know precisely how
fast to grow our bones
so they don’t poke
out of our skin.
 
That should be a disease,
Marco says when he’s eight,
and I’m ten, and we just ate
handfuls of berries – those red
ones we’ve heard aren’t poisonous
so long as they never touch
the ground.
    
Jessica Dealing is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She lives and writes in Estero, FL.