The Last Word — “No Love” by Sheri Grutz

Photo courtesy of Bachtlar Rahady, Flickr creative commons:
Photo courtesy of Bachtlar Rahady, Flickr creative commons:

Here was our inaugural “Last Word” Entry in January, 2015:

Sheri Grutz, with her poem “No Love”—

by Sheri Grutz

I wonder if the writing is the same ink
they use for fingerprints, if you call
these fine lines, if you call these thumbs
rolled over the blotter more than permanent record,
if the writing is booking me with
a mark that is truly mine and made for keeping the peace.
None of this will make a killing.
None of this will put me away.
I wonder if the ink on my fingers will rub off on you
when I touch you with something I put down,
every last way of finding me arrested
in the development of characters, plot, movement, conclusion.
When I see those expressions, I wonder what I’ve done wrong,
if the charges against me will put me away
into the gray bars that lock like cold, hard facts.
No one coming for me. No one
telling me it was all a mistake, and now
I can write the correct life out of being
able to dip those fingertips into holy water,
into a jar of pickles, onto a CD, into gloves.
I wonder if I do it for love, to make up for
what is lacking, someone really remembering
my childhood, my milestones, my life as having value.
I love the way the kids draw
faces on these fingerprints, and file it away
without words or weapons or weeping.

Sheri Grutz is from DeWitt, Iowa. She writes poetry, fiction and short sketches (plays), and is currently writing her first novel for young adults/kids called, A Chance. She loves to cook, dance and attend events.


The Last Word is open to submissions (MWC members get first priority). To submit, please send one poem (no longer than 30 lines; other formatting considerations, such as line length, should also be taken into account) or one work of short prose (fiction/non-fiction, 500 words max) in a MS Word file (.doc, .docx, .rtf) to, and include the phrase “The Last Word Submission” in the subject line. Please also include a brief bio (50 words max). Selections will be made each month by MWC staff and guest editors.