Walking Toward Cranes

Walking Toward Cranes

Amy Small-McKinney

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Because of the dignified, restrained, and at times, stoic treatment of the subject of breast cancer, the reader of this collection, Walking Toward Cranes, finds herself in the hands of a skilled poet and an admirable human spirit. As readers, we can’t help but compare our emotional lives to that of the speaker. But this speaker measures her identity by expanding metaphorical margins to include many objects in the natural universe. How is she like or not like the leaf, the maple tree, the snow? These kinds of items become iconic by the end of the book. Perhaps Small-McKinney’s greatest gifts are the unexpected images in her work i.e “....we are not maps, nothing leads us to each other,” or “...When my daughter was born, I opened into a basin, received her, cool water.” How gratifying to find a collection of poems which beckons us to read and reread it, always finding new and complex layers of meaning.

—Kathleen Sheeder-Bonanno, Winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award for Slamming Open the Door