More from Anne Ward-Masterson


Windy day

Neighbor’s for sale sign

Comes undone

Hangs by a single chain

Dances the samba

To its own clapping beat

The sun courts the snow

Touching every flake

Wind pushes the

Cold through my cap

Whispers secrets across the bay

Terrier dances in the field

Skipping, leaping, twisting

Sunlight and wind cavorting past

Only stopping to thrust

Her muzzle in the snow

For the hidden scent of grass

Standing in line
Waiting to pay
Weekly grocery shopping
Kevin’s off
Grabbing one last thing
We almost forgot
Guy queues up behind me
In a voice reserved
For meaningless chatter
About the weather
He asks
“Sooo, what’s your immigration status?”
At first
It really doesn’t register
When he asks again,
Louder this time
I look behind me
Fully expecting him to be
Asking some other poor soul
But no
He’s looking right at me
With a tight malicious smile
Of a middle school boy
Who thinks he’s won
A battle of wits
I realize how tired I am
Why should I have to
Trot out my family tree
My US passport
For every person who can’t image
This country has brown people
Here legally
As citizens, even
My left eyebrow
Reaches for my hairline
The only thing that saves
The fool
Is my husband stepping between us
To put the burger buns on the conveyor belt


Moebius strip logic
Turns love upon itself
Love, hate become one
False premise as gospel:
Equally weighting the claims of
Oppressed and oppressor is neutrality
The cornerstone
Of a republic whose
Justice is blind
Has never examined
The surface of a still pond
Nor let starlight
Into its interior discourse
Gorges on cerebral fare
Injected with distilled
Spirits of fear
Only for added flavor
Chefs claim
Morning after
The debauchery
Will we dare look in the mirror?

On the days I can’t listen to the news

Up with the sun at 4am, Alaska Time

Those mornings coffee puts me over the edge

From awake to panic mode

In just a few sips

I slip into my wellies and out the front door

Greet the strawberries and lilies

Listen to the songbirds and Ravens alike

Welcome the new day

Walk amongst the Columbine, Iris and Cosmos

Breathe their light scent

Watch them flirt and dance with bees

Under the caress of wind and sun

Feel the earth under my feet

Return to myself again


I miss you, Dad.
Old Crow
Every time I climb
Into the cab of a
Pick-up truck
Bench seat cracked and sagging
Dash faded by
Years of sunshine
Steering wheel
Stained by epoxy or paint
Needing a little jiggle
Between second and third gear
I hear your voice
Singing “Number Nine Coal”
Smell manure and tarmac
Cut grass becoming hay
Feel the sun heat my shoulder
Through the open window
Of the neon orange truck
Where on rainy days we got lost
On crumbling roads
Bordered by stone walls
Stands of maple and white pine
Telling one another stories of
Crows inviting us to fly
Over trees, roof tops and
Rivers full of pickerel and wide mouth bass
Escaping the gravity of sorrow