Three Poems by Lucretia Voigt


I cut rectangles and squares 

from the shirts he left

behind, the cotton oxfords

worn when playing

with that gospel group, the name

which escapes me now and no one

seems to remember. I should have sold

his Phish t-shirts on eBay, but instead

have traced patterns around the logos, ovals

and stars to applique, reconstructing

the pieces, rainbow colors

and words against the staid

blue and white cotton. I keep adding

rows, rectangles from the linen dress shirt

worn to our sister Bri’s wedding, the one

he’s wearing in the last picture

where our family is all together. 

Arms rest across each other’s

shoulders, a crazy quilt line

of heights and smiles, burgundies

and pastels, joined together

by an invisible whipstitch

of longing.


Stacking Wood

There is an art to stacking wood, each row

balanced on the one below, making sure

the knot in one doesn’t wobble the small

branch on another. We work in silence, 

my son in the trailer full of cut logs

from a maple tree felled in December’s

ice storm. He hands them to me so I can

hand them to my father who waits in the

covered shed he built to house them. One on

top of the other. Waiting for winter.  


The Act of Dying

My brother’s banjo was placed in his casket with him, his hand rested on the dark stain
on the banjo head, evidence of years spent picking "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and
"I’ll Fly Away," his fingers an extension of his soul, the maple neck laid across his body
as if he could pick it up and play. But like the sun that creeps up over the Kentucky mountains,
blinding as it crests, drug overdose deaths have risen. Between 1999 and 2019 deaths
due to heroin rose from 0.07 percent per 100,000 to 4.9 percent. In 2008, drug overdoses
killed 36,500. That year the population of my hometown of Ashland, Kentucky was 21,332.
Brent loved that banjo. It was the one thing he pawned for drug money that he would always
go back and get.   

Lucretia Voigt was born and raised in Ashland, Kentucky. A graduate of Eckerd College, she is currently enrolled in the Masters Program in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Women Speak, Sheila-Na-Gig, The Wise Owl, and Thimble Literary Magazine.