is refuge from abusive union
yet where poverty settles
deeper than the ancient dust
destitute bodies tread upon,
and survival is always tentative
as a newborn’s first breath.
Baggy cotton pants
are seated cross-legged atop sole prized possession;
a jumbled pile of colorfully worn blankets.
trace the rugged terrain of her life;
simple silver rings adorn darkly-gnarled hands;
a tiny forgotten vanity.
Thin, ropey wrists
rest placidly in a saffron-colored lap.
Rheumy eyes cast perpetually downward,
beyond dirty wrinkled feet.
A softly-patterned scarf
loosely covers a long salt and pepper braid;
her only constant companion.
Her accordion-pleated mouth forgets how to smile.
Solace is found in temple prayer.
Within the mean confines of her canvas-covered walls,
silent contemplation fills each corner.
She is at peace.
A thumbnail sketch of Susan Surette includes: Cape Cod retiree, nature lover, yogi, aspiring hand drummer, grandmother of three, travel enthusiast, lifelong bibliophile, hiker and neophyte poet. Susan has seven years of past writing experience, freelance journalism-style writing, for a fledgling local newspaper created by a fully-female staff in Massachusetts. Recently her first poem “Sticking One’s Neck Out” was accepted for publication by UK publisher, The Curlew.