We dine on gruel and despair,
our Lenten deprivation.
We hear the creatures scurry
in the attic. We hope
they will dine on the cheese
we’ve left in the traps.

The dog hides in the bathtub.
Once he only hid during storms.
Now he seems to crave the cool
enamel, the clean curves
holding him.

The teenagers keep their evening
plans, despite the threat
of precipitation. You light
the fire, in the hope
that the hearth will lead
them back to safety.
I finger the well-worn beads
brought to this country
in a different century, prayers
lifted in a different language.

Inspired by Dave Bonta’s “In/mates” and Luisa A. Igloria’s “Niyebe” and ““Depth of Field.”

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Kristin Berkey-Abbott has published two chapbooks: Whistling Past the Graveyard (Pudding House Publications) and I Stand Here Shredding Documents (Finishing Line Press). She oversees the department of General Education at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and she teaches as an adjunct at both Broward College and City College. She writes regularly about books, creativity, poetry, and modern life at her creativity blog, and she explores a variety of spiritual issues at her theology blog. Her website gives more information about her writing and her academic career.

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