Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PAD - Day 9 - 5 "Shelter" Poems


a place to put
my head
for just a bit
out of the rain
that soaks me


They walk

the mothers with suckling babes
in slings against naked breasts
nipples cracked 
like the desert
under bare feet – 
they walk 
bare faced and free – able to vote- 
to free their hair to blow 
in the red dust – 
they walk 
bare-headed full faced –
 babes against dry breasts
there is no victory in a vote until
shelter surfaces – 
until then – 
they walk-
stopping not even when one
babe or mother – stills and stiffens
they walk – 
they walk – 


In the field

past the split
oak tree they
think they see
huddled together
doing just what
they shouldn’t be
doing – standing
under a tree as
lightning cracks
the sky and rain
runs like an upside
down river – they’ll
get whupped for
sure if they don’t
get ‘lectrocuted first
unless that really is
a lean-to on the other
side of the old oak
tree – lil fellah starts
that little hiccup
he always makes
before he starts in
crying and she grabs
his hand and make
a run for it


tomato plants bend
rains slashes to the bare soil
another crop drowns

Black circles in the night

The knock is quiet
almost a whisper of
wind against the door
She sits in her chair
in the warm kitchen
watching snow fall
and knows they have
come – one or two or
one time, husband, wife
a small curly-haired girl
and a baby wrapped and
still – they always have
smudges like ash under
their eyes – and she always
for just a moment considers
opening the door – then again
maybe it is just the swoosh of snow
whipping in the wind across her sturdy
closed door – and maybe when a siren bleats
and a black car crunches in the fallen snow it
will be just a passerby – waiting until the worst
of it has


  1. So many different perspectives about shelter Pearl, and all of them excellent...starting with the mothers, barefoot, babies straining at their breasts in the desert...I can almost feel the heat and dryness of this one...such fine work you're doing.

  2. Beautiful! I feel I know the mothers, and I love the babies, and I wish for their journeys to be safe...