Power Tie

Like a kerchief of flame
My father slipped it round my neck

Stood behind me and looped it
Tight against my throat

And there it smoldered, glowing
Beneath dark flanks of my first suit

The color, he explained would overwhelm
Any seventh grade debater

Before me they would tremble
Wither like blossoms in the sun

Imagine my surprise
When the judges disagreed

And unanimously sided
With the girl who had no tie

No flourish and no talisman
No power shade at all

Only a skirt, black, a white blouse
And an argument

Definitive as water
Thrown upon a kindling fire


C.A. Maccini is a graduate of the M.F.A. at Eastern Washington University where he served as Managing Editor of Willow Springs Magazine. He is currently Fiction Editor of Crab Creek Review and a radio producer for Spokane Public Radio. His fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fugue, the Inlander, Spillway, and Lilac City Fairy Tales.