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POEM

For the Women of Atenco

A Poem by Melissa Studdard


Take it now, this metaphor, your bread.
You’ve seen God bleeding in the streets,
but the militia couldn’t help, sooty faced
themselves, disoriented by the shrapnel
lodged beneath their right to choose
a peaceful life. Take these words flowing
like wine. Let them salve where hands
gripped too tight, where teeth broke the skin,
where fists beat your notions of freedom
and equality flat as powdered dough, flat
as grapes crushed beneath the pointed
boots of war. Let these words recall
those things you meant to be before
rage came storming through your town.
Let them be your appetizers,
served to you with the humility and respect
you were denied four years ago.
Let these words be your dinners and desserts,
evidence you are being heard. Let them
sustain you, as others sip margaritas on the patio,
as others go on about their lives
oblivious to what you have endured. Your time
will come. So keep your aprons on, women
of Atenco; keep your eyes on the timer
and your hearts on the cause—because grapes
beneath the feet become wine, and
dough that is set aside will rise. Yes—
neglected, resilient dough will rise.

*From I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast



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POEM

Wrong Side of Life

A Poem by Ann Christine Tabaka


Nothing seems real
on the wrong side of life.
Graveyard shifts
and sleeping days.

Time has no meaning
when everything flips,
everyone you know
on a different schedule.

Loneliness invades every
pore of your being.
Footsteps echo back
through a deadly silence.

The world seems forlorn
turned upon its head.
Breakfast at midnight,
dinner at noon.

Paying our dues
we traipse onward
never knowing
if it is day or night.

Upside down
and inside out,
trying to make sense of
living on the wrong side of life.

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)



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