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Chella Courington – To My Ghost Egg

Profile Chella LEP&W April 2021

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2021.

With a Ph.D. in British and American literature and an MFA in Poetry, Chella Courington is a writer and teacher who’s published more than one-hundred little stories and more than 150 poems in a range of journals and anthologies including SmokeLong Quarterly, New World Writing, Lavender Review and Gargoyle. Her poetry has been nominated on several occasions for Best of the Net and Best New Poets along with being awarded individual prizes, the most recent of which is the Moon Prize for her poem “Eurydice.” Her fiction also has received individual prizes as well as being nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, and Pushcart. She has three chapbooks of fiction and six of poetry published by nine different publishers. Her novella-in-flash, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage (Breaking Rules Publishing, 2020) is featured at Vancouver Flash Fiction. Courington lives in Santa Barbara, California.


To My Ghost Egg

We should end these talks
thirty-five years of
should I or shouldn’t I
You were certainly willing
even generous
to hang out
among the thousand
hoping you’d be the one
tumbled & fertilized
and me hoping you wouldn’t
kill my chances of grad school
but always mourning (with relief)
your death
though I wanted you
in abundance
in case
I got cold feet & decided
to stop taking the pill
follow in mom’s
footsteps
let you do
whatever you wanted

Good Trouble

I was fifteen
in a small Alabama town
when I first heard your name
John Lewis, then
Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Their clubs cracked your bones.
Their tear gas clogged your lungs.
An iron pipe almost ended your life.
But you stood up.
You walked on
for fifty years plus more,
modeling resilience, leaving a trail of hope.

When you died,
the earth slowed.
The sun dimmed
The air thinned.
The world would never be the same.
Full smile, baritone voice.
Gone.

But we are not alone.
You left us with your words
a way to persevere.
“Walk with the wind, brothers and sisters,
and let the spirit of peace and the power
of everlasting love be your guide.”


© Chella Courington