Two Poems by Alina Stefanescu

Old-Fashioned Objections to Poetry

The old-fashioned charm of Canterbury bluebells
blooms robust on their flowerbed faces. 
Thick glass saying they like the poems
          but the voice is a wee bit

a little too much 
when you come down hard
things sound


        a Miro in the manor house
    a conceptual piece in the dining room
                    desperate for attention.

They like the poems
but the voice is too strident.
Implications like hands grasping
    for cookies, sticky-fingered.

Old-fashioned objections saying mindfulness is better 
I should try kundalini 
       given feminism’s lovely third wave
    if doesn’t make sense
            to overturn tables.

And why burn a bra that makes you look better?


The Car Yet to Come

The cars come home for dinner.
I watch the Dodges and Nissans
whir past in this season’s silvers
and it would be dishonest to say
there isn’t a heart that expects
you to brake abruptly in the center
of my driveway blocking all trike
and toy wagon traffic with your
white sedan, door left open, early
from the hospital you are laughing
air conditioning cooling the yard.

The last time I stood here to watch
my husband told me you had passed. I
kept misunderstanding. There was
no sound attached to the words he
mouthed into silence. You are a
mother who knows her way to me.
Surely the silence is space before a
swallow. He would say more.

Instead he reached to touch my
cheek, a mouth open wide as
Munvch’s scream, one long-legged
wail and the cars come home
for dinner. The cars drive past
a house where this woman screams
in the driveway. It is sunny. Her
fingers tear out patches of long
brown hair. Chunks of hair she
drops, knees smashing asphalt,
a long streak of urine running
down her legs. Turn away, little
ones, from this woman losing
her mind on a summer afternoon.
Be glad for the glass which insulates
you. Be glad for the silence of
another daughter’s scream. Be
glad for the car driving past.
For the azaleas & the puppies
before the car yet to come.



Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Alabama with her partner and four small mammals. Her poetry chapbook, Objects In Vases, was published by Anchor & Plume in March 2016. She is currently finishing final drafts for Every Mask I Tried On, a short fiction collection. But she also is ready to throw in the towel and find a humane-yet-raw-and-edgy literary agent. More online at or @aliner.