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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Marilyn Humbert
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


on journey
through her mind—
craggy peaks
and deep canyons
covered in thorns

Midsummer. She is the child again, hiding from raiders. Peeping between fingers over her eyes. The world is manageable that way, seen in shreds, little tatters. Images, sounds, frames in a movie. Sunlight skims window slats, grazing pools of blood on the kitchen floor, making them shimmer black. They become shadows she can ignore, especially if she screws her eyes up in a squint.

Her voice is still, refusing to make any sound. Outside the front door, the screaming stops, footsteps fade. A grey dove is cooing. Wind is crooning under the eaves. In the distance, an explosion, the crack of gunfire, and the whrack, whrack of a helicopter fracture the sky.

She peers through a thin gap from the secret place. A hidey-hole just for her when soldiers are prowling, Father said.

Nightfall brings other noises, creatures hooting, scrabbling, stalking. The stifling heaviness of stale air.

where is Father?
she waits alone, silent
behind the wall
a haven, a prison cell—
branches crack in the wind



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