For Jennifer Stroud Wirth

My sister became our mother
at twelve, screeching
lessons onto the blackboard,
lecturing letters and numbers, and
prodding her fraying pull down map
with a stick. She taught of better places than this
must-filled basement classroom
with walls like a dungeon—
peers spiders and beetles. Upstairs
her predecessor creaks
furies into the floorboards,
each agony a puff of dust
drifting down from the rafters. Mad
Enyo, groping blindly for her lost eye;
husbandless—she can no longer prophesy.

Shawn Nacona Stroud lives outside of Columbus, Ohio, where he works full-time in Guest Relations while hard at work on his MBA. His poetry has been published in print and in online journals including Up the Staircase Quarterly, Melancholy Hyperbole, One Sentence Poetry, Synchronized Chaos and The Legendary.

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