Poems by Martin Pederson

Kitten in the Motor

Come on, baby, please come out

I have to go to work now

What’s the problem, motor won’t start?

No. A kitten crawled up in there

and won’t or can’t get out.

Good luck with that, man.

Come on, baby, come out

I’ll honk the horn

Maybe she’s stuck

I’d start the engine

but she might get crushed

maybe I’ll have to take a bus

but it’s too late now

I’ve missed my course

talking into an open hood

pleading yelling coaxing

rattling a giblet box

poking around with a stick.

Everything ends right here

no going on

no tomorrow plans

a kitten

in a motor

nothing will move

no seeds sprout

no flowers bloom.

Ulterior Gratitude

I am blessed with father’s fingers

They do magic

They do art

Long and thin, supple and strong

Ten perfect mechanics

Playing a slice of bread

or a harp of a thousand strings.

Mine don’t shake like Dad’s


I am not afraid

when they will

I’ll still thank the ol’ fart

for the fingers

the magic

the art.

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Ginosko, Metaworker, Triggerfish, Unlikely Stories Mark V, and Grey Sparrow Review, among others.  

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