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2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Pathos

Photo by Mikayla Faivre


Michael Lambert

I didn’t cry when my friend died

until I heard John Denver on the jukebox.


I don’t like John Denver

I thought.


Pathos does not ask for a show

of hands.


I blame Catholicism for my paranoid state

but I found a yarmulke under the passenger


seat of my rental and now my life

is changed forever.


I put the yarmulke on my head

for no reason specifically


and saw myself in the rear-view,

head slightly tingly.


Jesus-toast jokes are thought

to have originated thus


which may or may not be important

to many of you


but I am listening to the sounds

and relaying as much as I am able.

Michael Lambert is author of Circumnavigation (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), loosely based on self-propelled travel in North America. Recent work has appeared in Bayou Magazine, Timber Journal, and Midwestern Gothic. A graduate of the University of Alabama’s M.F.A. program in creative writing, he lives and works in Wisconsin.

Mikayla Faivre is from North Freedom, Wisconsin, and is majoring in Animal Science. She has always been enamored by storytelling and spends her spare time reading or writing. Mikayla is a recipient of the David Cole Award in Creative Writing. This is her second year as an editor for the Spirit Lake ReviewFind her on Instagram:

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