PoetryIssue 09 | May 2010

Three poems by Cindy Hunter Morgan

Hyena Love

She rode hyenas at night
while others in her village slept
on grass mats by smoldering fires,
mindful of hyenas.
Sometimes she traveled 120 miles
before returning in the morning
to serve casava root soaked in water
sweetened with sugar
to her children, who ate it
with spoons carved from the wood
of a walnut tree,
who ate it too quickly
and always pleaded for more sugar.
It was the same with her husband,
who constantly pressed himself
against her, demanding sugar.
He called her cold,
said her voice could chill
the Benue River.
But the hyenas knew better.
She always let them stop
at watering holes,
let them drink while she dangled
her feet off their sides
and whispered secrets,
her lips grazing the soft fur
near their temples.
Their ears, which radiated heat,
warmed the words which traveled
through them.
They thought everything she said
was sweet.

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About the author

Cindy Hunter Morgan loves topo maps, compasses, old boots, and clean socks. She has traveled in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and Scotland, and once spent the night on a rocky cliff above the Mediterranean Sea, outside a village in the Peloponnese. In the morning, she rode to the train station in the back of an unmarked taxi, next to several chickens. At night, she sometimes runs her son’s model train to hear the rhythmic click of wheels on track, to see the lights glow in the cars, and to pretend she is tucked inside with her head pressed to the window, looking out at the dark landscape of her home. Her poems have appeared in Bateau,The Christian Science Monitor, The Driftwood Review, Tar River Poetry, and West Branch.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok