Excerpt from Sacred by Lisa López Smith

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The following poem appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 which we’ve decided to share not just with our paying subscribers but with our full community free of charge during these astonishing times. If anyone wishes to make a donation, it would be appreciated.

When the sun drenches the harrowed soil and will it ever produce what we desire?
Also, the sun on the crops of my neighbour, who stole the fields from his brothers
and probably had a gun. Fallow. Rushing to pack the lunch bags, one of my children
is missing a shoe, the six year old’s sweater is unzipped and they wave goodbye.
When I found the hawk—its body speckled like reddish sand—it was still limp
as if she were just asleep on the side of the road: her eyes closed grey, the talons so
curved and sharp they could take off my hand. !e rust on the ’69 Galaxie changes
colour by season, the grass growing through the dashboard. When the daddy longlegs
cluster for warmth—a leggy, black ball of fuzz the size of my hand. Silence.
When my dogs collide with the front gate, with each other, with my legs, and their
enthusiastic frustration that my two hands can’t greet all six of them at the same
time. When the monarch lifts and lowers her wings like the lungs of a Zen master.
When Martín paints broad brushstrokes of sauces and oils across skewered chickens,
fanning the coals volcanic red with a hairdryer, he works until he sells out every day.
Padre Manuel recommended the homebrew mezcal from the third house on the left
before town, just bang on the gate and the guy will get you a bottle; we shared it and
everyone agreed it was bien suave. In cartel lingo, hawks are what the look-outs are
called. Opportunities, like food and gasoline, aren’t evenly distributed, that’s for sure.

Click here to read the rest of Lisa’s poem and our Spring/Summer 2020 issue for free.

Lisa Lopez SmithLISA LÓPEZ SMITH is a shepherd and mother making her home in Mexico. When not wrangling kids or rescue dogs or goats, you can probably find her riding her bike. Recent and forthcoming publications include: Helen Literary Magazine, Jabberwock, Mom Egg Review, TJ Eckleburg Review, Mothers Always Write, and Bluestem.

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