Poetry – Issue 8 | February 2010
Two poems by Stephen Bunch
“They have no true home as hunger and the enemy pursue them from every side.” (Father Dominguez, 1776)
Abiquiú is what’s left
after the slaves were freed
and enslaved and freed again,
until they couldn’t return to their people,
Paiute, Comanche, Kiowa, Pawnee, then land
granted, Genízaros, “new troops,” to serve,
muchas gracias, the governor.
After O’Keeffe stopped painting,
but before the ravens above
the White Place cease their cries,
Abiquiú is what remains of sunlight
along the line of the muezzin’s evening call
from the spice trader’s mosque
beyond the arroyo
to the newly-mudded morada
across the highway from Bode’s
where ristras, “live minnows,”
and a Jesus Action Figure
with Glow-in-the-Dark Hands
await bored travelers.
Next to a mailbox on the way out of town
a basin of bleached bones
sits on a sand-pitted washing machine.
The Chama’s swell subsides
after July rains.
Tamarisk overtakes the cholla
along the irrigation ditches.
Jeeps with boat trailers move on.
Someone builds a new school
for someone else’s children.
About the author
Stephen Bunch lives and writes in Lawrence, Kansas. His poems have appeared recently in Ithaca Lit: Lit with Art, Mudlark, Rootdrinker, Read his chapbook, Preparing to Leave (the title poem of which first appeared in The Literary Bohemian).
Read our current issue:
Two Poems by Mike Alexander
Cremation at Pushupatinath by Bonnie Bishop
Against Travel by Barbara Daniels
The Country by Tonya Ingram
Nocturne by Athena Kildegaard
The Wild Edge by Tim Laffey
Following Belle-Mère by Sarah Lawrence
For You, Good Price by Christopher Locke
Give and Take by Beth McDermott
De Profundis by Rick Mullin
The Highway Christmas Tree Outlet in April by Christine Jessica Margaret Reilly
Dead Reckoning by M. R. Smith
Never Never Land by Wendy Vardaman