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Issue 49 • July 2022
edited by Tony Daly

Introduction to Issue 49 • Trauma

Since I started my training to become an Aerospace Medical Technician at Sheppard Air Force Base back in 1996, I’ve worked, taught or studied trauma, via a life of service inherited from my parents. My mother made fruit baskets at the local country grocery store and bent over backwards for loved ones and strangers alike, even after she broke her back in a car crash. My father retired after a distinguished military career split between the U.S. Navy and Air Force. He also retired from Western New York’s Development & Disability Services, where he cared for clients with developmental disabilities.

This issue of Eye to the Telescope is meant to continue that service, like a peer-sharing exercise. It's meant to prompt writers to express pain, to put it down and examine it through the process of creation through the speculative lens. It’s meant to provide readers with a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold, because race, gender, time, space, universe don’t matter to human trauma. We all experience it in splinters and shards. We all share it.

This issue was meant to be in service to others, the poets, the readers, but I have a confession to make. I’ve been selfish. You see, as I was finalizing the language for the trauma call, I received a call that my mother had unexpectedly passed. After four months of logging many air and highway miles along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, I drafted this introductory note on Father’s Day, beside the bed of the strongest man I ever knew, waiting for him to draw his last breath.

So you see, I’ve been selfish. There were 275 submissions, and I used every one of them to help myself. These poems were all read in their entirety. They served as distractions, reminded me of my childhood, of former patients, and triggered memories of my parents, both loving and heartbreaking.

To the 18 poets chosen, congratulations and thank you for trusting your work to me. If your poem was not chosen, I hope you take solace in knowing that your work aided one person in a moment of grief. To the readers, I apologize for not being able to present you with more, for hoarding them for myself. The submissions were exceptional. My short-list was not short. Under a different headspace, my final selections would have looked a lot different.

However, current circumstances have me filling this issue with poems that make me think of my parents more often than not. Therefore, I dedicate the choices I’ve made for this issue to the loving memories of my parents, Carol and Dennis Daly—a woman born the daughter of a trucker, who lost an infant child, who became a renowned baker in a small circle, and the epitome of “grandma” to a loving few; and a man who served in Vietnam as well as Desert Shield, prepared soldiers who perished at the Pentagon on 9/11 for burial and quietly lived with the nightmares ever since, before ultimately losing his fight with Parkinson’s disease.

So, dear readers, please read, take solace, hold a hand, lean on a shoulder, weep, share in the collective trauma… then breathe, and take solace knowing that no matter what headspace you are in, you are not alone.

—Tony Daly