The Works of Cathy Allman 

Cathy Allman entered the writing field as a reporter after attending the school of Cinema and Television at the University of Southern California. While her career shifted gears from writing to advertising and marketing, she never stopped writing or attending workshops, eventually earning her master's degree in creative writing from Manhattanville College. Cathy has reinvested in her writing, and she teaches creativity workshops at high schools, at Norwalk Community College, and at her Connecticut office.

Cathy's work has appeared or is forthcoming in California Quarterly (CQ), Caveat Lector, Crack the Spine, The Critical Pass Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Edison Literary Review, Elysian Fields, Front Range Review, Off the Coast, The Old Red Kimono, On Location, Pearl, Penmen Review, Pisgah Review, River Poets Journal, The Potomac Review, Sanskrit, Talking River and Terminus.

 

All Poems © Cathy Allman 


Limb

No one predicted the crash-how could they?
The hollowness hid under intact bark.

The leaves turned green. The acorns fell.
The foliage-red-drifted back to the ground.

I can't count all the rings in the stump that remains.
There is a hole in the center-

decayed space erased the years,
how long the oak stood against this wind.

You walked underneath despite storm warnings,
never expecting the break, the fall.

It's statistically improbable, wrong place,
wrong time, As if scientific probability

is a foolproof answer, as if given the odds,
you'd be safe, as if what I couldn't tell you

when I didn't know
could be shown on a flowchart.

 

 

Thoughts from my Mother’s Couch


My father's ashes live in a genie bottle,
a blue glass urn above my mother's TV
on the top shelf. I watch the light flicker
off its curved base when I flip between
Law and Order and Wheel of Fortune.
I got the game show puzzle wrong. The answer
was RAISE YOUR VOICE. I thought it
was RAISE YOUR HOUSE because
I live in a flood zone,
but the contestant got the cash.
I switched to Jack McCoy.
By the end of the L&O marathon, I'd seen
two guilty verdicts and one not guilty.
And then the late night news reports that this Pontiff
supports the church's stance on birth control.
His Holiness does, however, encourage confessors
to be compassionate. If I were a good Catholic,
I'd stand with the Pope on contraception.
The newscaster tells of a twenty-two-year-old Jersey girl
who set her baby on fire, watched the baby burn.
The rescue worker on the scene said he wished
she'd left that baby at the police station
or fire department, somewhere there would be no penalty.
My mother, my father, and I-three Easters ago-
smile in the gilded frame across from the screen.
I try to not think about the ashes above in the bottle.
Mom keeps them there until they'll go in her coffin
with her and whatever doesn't burn away.