‘Anna hears the call’ was published in Beyond Bad Times. An Anthology of North American Poetry, Edited by Vanna Tessier, Edmonton Snowappel Press, 1993


Anna hears the call 



The sun strikes fierce

Anna wipes the sweat

that stings her eyes

her calloused hand

holds the knife

her nostrils flare

as she inhales the smoke

of more slash and burn

that will keep them

from going hungry

in the year to come


Anna pauses briefly

there was a baby

she gave it

to be sent North

she gave it

with all of her

useful love

she gave it

and still

they bother her


Come down, they said

and sign

or else . . .


There's a baby

she told her boss

you stay, he said

or else . . .


There was the rat tat tat

of machine gun fire

over the mountains . . .


The sun strikes fierce

Anna wipes the sting

from her burning brow

before she bends

to pick up the knife