Four Poems by Antonio Vallone

wild turkey tanka

mornings, wild turkeys
meander around tract homes
and manicured lawns
where their stand of pine trees grew
providing them shadows, shade

jump started tanka

Dodge Nitro parked on
my driveway all summer, fall,
winter, battery
drained, charged, replaced, drained again.
I charged in hospital beds.

inside out inflamed tanka

In Shadyside Hospital
for surgery to remove
a cancerous kid-
ney tumor, I woke
kidneyless, dialysis
three times a week, ever-
y week for my life.

coronavirus prom tanka

unrented tuxes
hang in Joe’s Tux Shop’s display
windows, face sleek gowns
in Marie’s Bridal Shop, ties
crooked, arms empty

About the author:

Antonio Vallone is an associate professor of English at Penn State DuBois. He earned an MA in literature and creative writing from SUNY Brockport, an MFA in poetry from Indiana University, and completed the coursework for a PhD in composition and rhetoric from Purdue University.

Founding publisher of MAMMOTH books, he is also poetry editor of Pennsylvania English and co-founding editor of The Watershed Journal Literary Group—which provides journal and book publishing opportunities for Pennsylvania writers and runs Watershed Books, a writer’s space and used bookstore.

He is a board member of The Watershed Journal and the Pennsylvania College English Association. 

His collections include The Blackbird’s Applause, Grass Saxophones, Golden Carp, and Chinese Bats. Forthcoming are American Zen and Blackberry Alleys: Collected Poems and Prose. He can be reached at

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