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Guest Poet Michael J. Andrews


Every time I notice a silence

I let it dwell within me a little,

but this one, this silence

caused by those beggar children,

or the old man hobbling, mumbling the Koran,

or the abandoned wives squatting and birthing on the streets,

I try not to let settle in my soul,

if thatís what we have,

and at moments

I continue our conversation

around their heads and through their bodies

in vain

because inevitably a law has been broken

and I feel a letch, a scorpion,

a baboon afraid of its reflection,

a crude barbarian

with my clothes and my food.

September, 2001

Michael J. Andrews's questions:

Is the arch of the poem smooth or does it jerk the reader around?

Is line 8 not necessary, and if not, does it add another dimension to the poem without necessarily being integral?

Are the "abandoned wives" too harsh an image?

Does it have emotional impact?

Does it preach its message or explain it?

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