Stephen Furlong grew up in upstate New York with a passion for the written word. He is a graduate student at Southeast Missouri State University located on the Mississippi River. With family ties that live on the Mississippi River in Illinois, it has always been his love. He received his undergraduate degree from Truman State University. Recent publications include an interview, review, and a poem respectively in Pine Hills Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault which was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms and edited by Joanna C. Valente.
— Theresa Furlong
When I was a child, I remember the chase
of fireflies. I would run until my face glowed
red, like August on the Mississippi — my clearest
memory. Celebrating history,
the anniversary of a house that stood one
hundred years. Was it a home for that long?
I asked myself then — and now — separated by years,
distance. But isn't that why I write? To remember.
Like trees in the fall, I want to trust myself — let go
completely. I want to believe I might come back new.
I've been to towns where they remember
birthdays favorite colors the shape of hands my mother's maiden name
And cities where I went to forget
my relationship with God anger You night terrors
forgetting is so long —
I concern myself with taking
too much time (knowing recovery has no deadlines,
just endless questions, especially around the holidays.)
too much paper (fearing voices telling me to just get over it
like it was that simple. Like anyone could do it.)
My son is a poet for a reason. The lyrical beauty packed into each sentence, the history and emotion from moments pulled from my life, from his life, from all our lives makes us … feel. Sweet memories, painful memories, sad memories threaded throughout this piece in a beautiful ebb and flow, just like life. His sensitive nature released for all to share. He packs all those feelings, our feelings into a single phrase: "Like trees in the fall, I want to trust myself". Visualize it, know it's true, beauty and a sense of understanding our humanity, packed into a few simple phrases. I thank him for sharing, for being my son.
— Theresa Furlong