She Dug


It wasn’t her mess.

She never asked

to be buried alive.

She didn’t even own a shovel.

But her desire to see sunlight

grew strong,

flexed hope like muscles

rippling, horses straining

at the foreign taste of metal

on tender tongues

with dreams of churning hooves,

tasting island sun

like Freedom

coursing through wild veins.

She dug

until bare fingers

left rivulets of red

on bunkers of blue steel.

She dug

until she ached with cold,

fatigue festering like ulcers,

disillusionment stalking

in blizzard’s cloak.

She digs still –

for, having seen a glimpse

of sapphire sky,

her soul will not

consent to being


By the Sweat of Her Brow



By the sweat of her brow,

she has raised them –

three strapping sons

to block out their 

father’s deadbeat shadow.

And the tender concern

with which they plant 

kisses on hope-spattered

cheeks paints each

drop of perspiration 

a work of art.