The Poetry Distillery is an online literary journal established in 2018 publishing poems sown at the Poetry Barn, a Hudson Valley library and literary center.

Dear Hope, Although

you and I have become
estranged, I write with
an inkling. Picture this:

I wake to find my hand
on my breast, scratching.
Insect burn travels

nerve to brain, and I pull
nail from nipple, afraid
of a blossoming welt.

A mosquito? In December?
Stumbling across cobbled
skin for a drop of blood,

injecting her invisible
chemical pebble. Other
bites I scratch bloody

but I will my hands to leave
this one. And so, Hope,
I return to you. If I can

not scratch this exquisite
fire, what else might I hope
in the almost new year?


Mary Craig writes creative nonfiction and poetry. Her publications include an essay in Quarterly West, Issue 83, which received the 2014 Writers at Work Fellowship in Literary Nonfiction. An Ohio native, she currently lives, writes and teaches in southwest Germany. Her blog (chapterthis.blogspot.com) turns an observant eye on life and language in Germany.

Where is Grace,

The Last Few Pages