Saint Betty
by Brant Short

broken spine, torn pages, grease stains
practical wisdom penciled in the margins
not so spry after fifty years of hard kitchen duty 
the Betty Crocker is a sacred text of the ordinary

her wisdom offers more than calories to burn 
a potluck casserole that heals with its aroma
a pumpkin pie that transports us to a time when we did offer thanks
a harvest vegetable stew that honors all creation stories

a cookbook can be a Good Book, a very Good Book

What the Obit Left Out
by Brant Short

Born Here 
& Lived There 
& Died on This Day
& Survivors Include
& Jobs 
& Education 
& Hobbies
& Community Service

The facts are undisputed

No mention of the memories you surgically removed
and the heartwarming stories transplanted in their place
Or the love you shared that was stolen and never recovered
No subtext for the careful reader, no hints of quiet suffering

Friends marveled that your life was an open book
clueless that they were reading prize-worthy fiction 
I was there, I remember, maybe that’s enough

Brant Short was born and raised in a small farming community in Idaho. He attended Idaho State University where he received degrees in History and in Communication Studies. He studied Communication at Indiana University and received his doctorate in 1985. He has taught at Southwest Texas University, Idaho State University, and Northern Arizona University, where he is currently Professor in the School of Communication. His writing has focused primarily on environmental topics, including wildfire debates, wolf recovery, and public land use. His work includes two books and many essays in scholarly journals. In recent years he has turned to creative outlets and published his first poem in 2019 (Roanoke Review)