When your neighbor is the enemy
and night pulls its sharpened knife,
a word does what a word must.
It summons its bloodhounds.
Wheat fields turn barren.
An old woman pours seeds
into a soldier’s jacket pocket.
When he’s later shot down
sunflowers will blossom his gravesite.
(Beauty’s reprieve in all the mayhem.)
Soot smudges the streets,
and neither the notations of loss, nor
the uncompromising hand of empty promises
will assuage the survivors. War’s a thug
who sucks his thumb in back seats
of limousines and gorges on caviar.
taught through CPITS, received several CAC grants, and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program, including Folsom Prison. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College (Montpelier, 1989) and is a six-time Pushcart nominee. Her publications include, in part: MacQueen’s Quinterly; Artemis Journal; The Adirondack Review; Memoir Magazine; The Plague Papers, edited by Robbi Nester; Pacific Poetry; and New American Writing. Her fourth poetry book, Camaraderie of the Marvelous, was published by Kelsay Books in 2021.