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by Diane DiGennaro

Mining for emotions
A solitary task
Best done squatting at the edge of the
mind's meandering brook
with your grandfather's sieve
at dawn

Look to the distant willow
at the bend in the brook
to steady yourself
for the task

Plunge your hands into the aching
and scoop up the personal pebbles
rubbed raw with years
Ground to sentient sand

Pour in doubt and disillusionment
Let them percolate with
stubbornness and grief

Stand to stretch your back
and watch pride leak through the screen
Wind scuttling it
along the shoreline

Shake, shake and look
Only the crag
of a cracked orange nugget
in the corner
Ego, too big to fall through

Button it up in the chamois shirt pocket
The one that rests over your heart
and hike back

Diane has pounded keys all of her life. She wrote stories on her mother's IBM Selectric typewriter which sat for years on the dining room table in lieu of turkeys. Truly, the typewriter provided more sustenance than her mother's hot meals.

Diane wrote for a feminist news quarterly as a teen. Her keystroke has lightened with each successive computer until she feels that the words are flying out on their own.

She has freelanced for PrimeTime Cape Cod, The Burlington Free Press (VT), the national magazines Adoptive Families and New Moon, as well as a plethora of parenting publications.

Diane wonders whether the keyboard will be obsolete before she completes her novel. Maybe she'll just talk to a screen and it will spit out the tale. She'll miss those keys, for sure; they've unlocked a great many secrets. You can email Diane at