Laura M. Kaminski’s Review

Laura M Kaminski’s review
May 07, 14

Imagine being invited into the home of a friend, invited to pull up a chair to the kitchen table. Imagine being served an immense bowl of broken glass, and when your brow wrinkles in confusion, you’re led into another room where fragments and shards are examined one by one, carefully pieced and fit and joined into stained glass windows. Not one is left unexamined. Not one is left out.

Cynthia Atkins holds each broken piece — human frailty and fallibility and mental illness, divisions and dysfunction in not just family but the entire global community — up for unflinching assessment, and finds a place where it can fit and become part of something whole and beautiful that lets light in.

In “Divided We Stand” she writes: “we are here to open every door, turn handles, push borders / / to unlock a kite-tale of grace” — Brava, Ms. Atkins! You have done so. I hope to see another book of your poems in the near future.


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