When She Sings
The world should go silent
when she sings about the fields of gold—
her voice reaching through the room’s
crowded chatter, carrying us far away
from the shifting neon lights, the dense
and dusty streets outside—homeless
feet shuffling through.
Effortlessly as a feather
floating down, she brings us
into soft meadow light, and the arms
of long ago love, the sun
shining on long stemmed grass,
trembling in the innocent breeze.
She sings, and we remember
the sound of wind sighing through
trees, or the way gentleness came down
across the mound of hills in summer.
Back before we knew anything about
loneliness and the million shoeless
hearts that live on concrete streets—
before we knew about how hard it is
to find again anything that resembles home
we can hear her singing.
The Thing I Did Not Love
For years we said we should cut it down,
the scrubby white pine that a renter
planted in the middle of the field,
and make room for the fruit trees
we wanted. But we never did, and it kept
growing, the branches twisting up,
needled leaves bushing and bristling out,
until it stood two stories high, pine cones
and dead branches scattered at its feet.
But today we cut it. One by one, the limbs
come down amidst the chainsaw’s chattering
grind, cloudy oil fumes, and flying sawdust.
One by one, I carry the limbs away
and throw them onto a mound
rising from the earth like a bier.
For hours we chop the branches and chip
the wood we will use for garden mulch.
All the while the stump oozes sap, clear
and fragrant, a feast for hundreds
of ants—what I did not love offering
its river of sweetness into the arms of air.
What You Planted
Years ago you knelt
in the garden’s dark soil,
tucking them into the earth
one by one,
“You’ve got to treat them
gently, as if they are
your babies,” then you
pulled a blanket of loam
the next seed
and tamped it down.
Look at the garden now.
reached into the earth’s
Anna Citrino received her MA from the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont, and has published in various literary magazines including, Bellowing Ark, Calyx, Earth’s Daughters, Fine Madness, Flyway, Kalliope, The International Journal of Wilderness, and Sojourners, among other journals and anthologies. A native Californian, Ms. Citrino was born in eastern San Diego County, though she has lived in various countries since 1991--Turkey, Kuwait, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and currently, New Delhi, India where she teaches humanities at the American Embassy School. A lover of scuba diving, bicycling, and travel, Ms. Citrino writes often about place, listening for the voices that arise from the location where the inner journey greets the outer journey. Each year, Ms. Citrino returns to her home in the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California where she loves being out of doors under the open, blue sky.
Amber Coverdale Sumrall
Plays & Monologues
Wilma Marcus Chandler