Two Poems by Jacob Siefring




Goodbye, Ohio

Goodbye, Ohio, I loved you in

      the carefree blur of my youth

torturing salamanders

      in the creek behind my house.

I was always riding my bike

      over dead, fallen, autumn

leaves and setting things aflame.


O’ top the mountain

O’ top the mountain

I juggle imperfect

And say hello to the birdies

I breathe the mountain air

And live my mountain life

I have a hole

And rocks

And a small plant

I named it Catrina

Sometimes I pretend that I’m swimming

Even though there’s no water

I don’t bathe

But I pretend to

I’ve been here a long time

A man once offered me money to come down

“No,” I said

I like it up here

I also have a stick

I hit rocks with the stick

And it’s like golf

I’m very good at it

Sometimes the rocks go down the mountain

And then my rocks are one less

But I have plenty

It doesn’t really make me worry

Nothing really makes me worry

“Ulcers don’t come from what you eat, they come from what’s eating you.”

I read that once

I didn’t want an ulcer so I stopped worrying

I only worry a little bit

And that’s about ulcers

But all in all, I don’t worry much.


Jacob Siefring hails from Ohio’s Miami Valley, a place of “rolling lands of gentle undulations, with many prairie valleys stretching in fertile fields between the sloping ridges,” located in the state’s southwestern quadrant. After numerous displacements, he lives in Ottawa with his spouse and children. His writing has appeared in the Montreal Review of Books and Quarterly Conversation and is forthcoming in Ambos and Golden Handcuffs Review. You can find more of his writing and get in touch with him at his blog,