the Mexicans

I worked in a restaurant with Mexicans and white guys. The Mexicans worked hard. They had wives and sweethearts back home and pictures of kids in their wallets. The young one, Roberto, always had a paperback book stuck in his back pocket. We stayed late to give him rides home so the local boys wouldn’t beat him up. We pretended we had … More the Mexicans

To the black man in the blue van on the road when I was walking

To the black man in the blue van on  the road when I was walking. This is an apology. I was walking and looking at the big houses. I was listening to a tape of a novel about a serial killer by the Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø. I was thinking about  being a white woman … More To the black man in the blue van on the road when I was walking

Inmates

It’s Sunday, poetry day. This is from Sara Backer. INMATES I heard there was a fat skunk, all white, who waddled in the yard followed by two kits the men called babies. I heard about a pair of chipmunks and raccoons that hung around the kitchen. A hummingbird appeared one morning, a gray-tailed hawk at … More Inmates

everything is not going to hell, or going to Mass with my mother

I recently visited my mother who lives not far from Beardstown, Illinois. Beardstown is the town I model Palmyra after in my first book. My mother still cannot understand why people in the town are not more enthusiastic about that book. My book is a little mean about the town. It neglects the kindnesses you … More everything is not going to hell, or going to Mass with my mother

instead of candles

> Tonight we went to a vigil to show support for the Muslim community. It was a candlelight vigil, but I didn’t take a candle. I said to Chuck, candles make me feel weak, and he said he knew. Instead of candles, he said, it seemed like we should hold flares.

Mosque

> Last night someone set a fire in the mosque near my house. Just to show that we can target innocent people too, I guess.

And some are heroes

> When a woman risked her life to rescue  Deogratias from a banana grove full of corpses during the genocide in Burundi, she told him Hutu or Tutsi didn’t matter to her. I’m a mother, she said. That’s my ethnicity.