Current Issue

Issue 11: Winter 2017




The Winter 2017 issue of Mangrove Journal is an online-only edition. Print books of select Spring issues are available on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus for a suggested donation of $5-$10 to the Creative Writing Program. Please contact for more information.


The Old Woman's Hobby

The neighbors joked they’d leave
a basket of knitting needles on her doorstep, 
only to stop the nightly round of bullets 
from piercing the short block’s ears.

Children, they said, were in the vicinity.

When the sheriff showed up on her doorstep, 
she had all her permits in order, 
and that night we heard three extra rounds of the Glock 19 pound the dusk.

I was nine, and as her line ran low, 
I sat on top of my bed wondering what it’d be like
to shoot a person--in the chest-- 
if I had a gun like the old woman had.

Dad told me it wasn’t that kind of gun.

So I tried to go to sleep until I felt her pistol 
in my hand, the lead bullets in the magazine. 
I sought the target, felt the dual recoil spring 
back into my palm.

I saw the smoke curl into our short, gray curls, 
smiled as the ammunition hit its mark 
and felt the echo of the shot target in the place 
in my chest where I felt our heart, mending itself.

Renee Reneau