Janine Certo’s poems appear in Crab Orchard Review, Mid-​American Review, The National Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod, and Quiddity, among others. Her debut poetry collection, “In the Corner of the Living,” was first runner-​up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. She recently completed her second poetry collection, “Home Altar,” about growing up in a Pittsburgh Italian American family in the 70s and 80s. She is an associate professor at Michigan State University and lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband, Steve Certo, and rescue dog, Maddox.

Highland Meadows, Allegheny County, 1979

Sunday afternoons, we escaped across green waves of fenceless yards, hopscotched streets with split- level homes—their windowed eyes and garages’ open mouths. We screamed past the chained dog’s bark, lawns skirted with azaleas or crowned with the Virgin Mary. We lifted animals like bracelets from creeks and sat on Central Pharmacy’s curb snapping twigs of …

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