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.

Where is Grace,

in small script, hovers readying to carry each letter up and off the far right margin of the otherwise empty notebook my father recently gave me.

Once when I was doubtful he told me how my mother yelled from a hotel bathroom. Frantic for some kind of container!!! He dumped the contents of her toiletry bag across the tile floor and held it wide between her legs.

In the large closet that served as my baby brother’s room I remember his crib in the center, a record player with a hexagonal base in one corner, and an old grizzly bear sitting on a stool in the other. The old bear said something I couldn’t hear from the doorway. I walked over and saw him up close. The hair around his face mangey and graying. He attached funny rings to my fingers, arms, and gave me a strap to place over my chest. He said, it’s called a polygraph- a kind of test.

He got down on all fours and lumbered over to the player, took the wires out of his mouth with one paw, and plugged one into each panel of the six-sided wooden base with the other. He slowly re-took his place on the stool then asked me if I believed in absolute truth.

I am six and reply that I have a friend who eats the whole fruit: pit, seeds, stem and all. And that a firefighter came to visit school last week and now my dreams are filled with death. The record on the player began to turn the sound of a memory. Father’s voice asking me to pray over mommy's tummy to finally keep a sibling. In my head I began to consider all the ways a man could fall while standing on solid ground.


Rachel Darke is a storyteller and image maker in her last year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she studies Film and Sustainability. She is interested in the ways we exist both physically and digitally and how both impact the psyche and natural world in the Anthropocene. (www.racheldarke.com



Dear Hope, Although