University Ave


“Pho all the way around,” The leather jacket boy says While the girls compare nail polish...

A Little Brown Bird


Just landed on my windowsill. Thought about coming in...

Butterflies on Selby

By David Lyndale ● 2011

There is a café on Selby where I go to clear my mind and listen to the stories old Black men tell. Outside the café is a planter and in

Too Big for My Skin


My momma never told a lie, she couldn’t when the truth was clear Through stretch marks and crow’s feet, the truth is what she told me Not through words, but through the curve of her hips The gleam in her eyes . . . the memories on her lips She is so beautiful, that her skin can’t even keep her concealed She is so beautiful, that in her early days she carried another life inside her, manifested the fire Sending her existence higher...

The Farmers’ Market


Buying vegetables, Sniffing flowers sweet as honey, Begging for donuts. Near glass jars of jam, My feet hit the ground in front of Bright red strawberries...



The sweet smell of lilacs drifts over the city like a blessing. Yesterday was winter, today blooms radiant spring. Cafe tables unfurl up and down Selby Avenue, an old man shares a croissant with his dog, joggers and tubs of pansies claim the sidewalk...

Cold Night


My feet are cold—the car is cold—the car sounds like a bucket of bolts Rolling down a hill— it’s so cold that my breath falls like ice from the roof...



Before I was born There was movement Paddles pushing pent up people through oceans of pain That explains my fear of water When I was born There was movement still

Saint Paul Poet Laureate Carol Connolly: Poem for the Second Inauguration of Mayor Chris Coleman on January 4, 2010


We stand on the edge of a New Year, full, it is, of endless possibilities. Somehow, we climbed the steep hills of the year just past, none of it easy, our seven hills dotted with lights steady in the dark of night, hills alive now with the beauty of a new snow that stopped traffic everywhere.

Sixth-Grade Cookie Competitors

By Steve Trimble ● 2011

David Haynes, an African American author and St. Louis native, lived in Saint Paul for many years and taught fifth and sixth grade at a downtown public school. He has written several adult novels, and decided to write for younger readers because he found a dearth of works for that age group that were set in this city. "Business As Usual" tells the story of a cookie-selling enterprise among two rival groups of sixth graders, with a few life lessons about people and economics woven in along the way.

Old Saint Paul

By W. A. Alexander ● 2011

Old Saint Paul, up and down your ripped up sidestreets, kids roam, hands deep in pockets, snapping ice with each step. Their mothers poke out of houses, “Time to come inside,” they say, waiting to hang blankets off shoulders and brush the child’s hair from his face.



I search the concourse for the family, a family whose people were swept away by a river red with blood. Swept when a secret war ended. Swept from the mountains of Laos, Swept in one day from the steamy jungle to Minnesota’s pre-dawn dark.