Table of Contents

Where We Grew Up: A Cyber Chapbook

Small Game Collector

Afraid of the Smudge

Where We Grew Up


Small Town Sex Education

August in Escalon


Something About the Author

Poetry Home Page

Quill email image

Afraid of the Smudge

We woke and were alone
in the cold, tiny room where
older cousins once whispered,
played our bodies like toys.

Beyond these ragged walls, hell rose
from bright orchard smudge pots.
Guilt tattled in crimson tongues
to the ghostly night field.

Chill windows burned
with the growing inferno,
reminded us of catechism,
martyrs cooked alive
for their acts of pure faith.

Ignited diesel spewed
sooty curtains between light's extremes:
bony trees and the shadows
of our absent parents
like moving black wraiths.

Abandoned, we wept,
terrified by secret sins,
this flaming end of the world.

c2002, Jennifer Lagier