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A woman stands peeling road-mapped potatoes;
zig-zaggedly stripping life down to the core       
of a root.  
The square root
of a faulty existence.

Thousands of miles away,
a near-sighted woman with a far-away look
is gingerly stepping into mine fields.  
She tip-toes through the muddy land,
scooping up precious, life-giving eyes to be properly buried,
so that they might see again in a different world.  Elsewhere,

a woman is paring back the earth with famished fingers,
exposing the film in her mind’s eye of empty bowls lined up
like small, swollen bellies, or wide-open mouths
crying beseechingly for sustenance.  In a hell

on earth,
a supine woman of the wrong faith prays for succor.  
Body writhing beneath her captors, she waits an eternity
for a sign that the world knows her pain.  
She wonders: Wouldn’t knowing mean caring?      
Doesn’t anyone know?  

A woman in Detroit watches at her window.  She knows
there are young boys gathered on the next corner
waiting for their lives to begin -
for death -
for their next victim -
Where they once played ball in the street,
they now dodge fate enshrouded in a steel jacket,
still waiting for someone to call them in
from the storm.  

Somewhere in America
a woman is washing brown hands under hot tap water,
scrubbing to peel herself free from the soul sins of the dead;
and of the living;
and of no one person
in particular.
purchase chapbook: It's Where You Find It
Where Are My Sisters Tonight?
Suzanne Sunshower