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Planting the cross and the gallows,
men wearing clothes did come, dominate, kill
every gaiety that once warmed the blood.

In square gray houses, the women were condemned
to breed behind shutters. A barren land starved, scorched—
much misery in the years of the rule of greed.

The noonday sun made the stones smoke and medals flash.
One bat’s caress drew from a boy his last laugh,
yet few spirits expressed themselves by whistling.

Any who failed to wash absolution from their eyes?
Apprehended. Breathing grew violent, an effort.
Each casket of words held a body the size of a sigh.

Witness a world made empire, unfettering.
There is no flame at the festival of the new fires.

(a found poem culled from Eduardo Galeano’s Myth of Fire)


Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a downtown creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. She attended Oberlin College, Cornell University, and has an English M.A. from SUNY/Binghamton. Recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship, her recent books include Every Door Recklessly Ajar and Great Hunger. Her website is

© 2019, Nancy Flynn

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