She hides in a pontoon near a floating
bridge, the forces of evil kicking
her until she is bruised beyond
A sweet woman, she does not deserve
this treatment, but she suffers,
in part, because she wore a red
dress in Afghanistan.
Burning hawk wings attack the inside
of her nose and scratch the
symbol of Isis on her forehead.
Why did she ever leave shore for the
unknown? A crafty mother
born from an evil sac set her
on her way.
Poppies from the underworld scrub
her neck gentle-like and then
The legend stretches out and then
begins to rot. Children try to save
its meaning, but follow into the
land of fatigue, toys strewn
everywhere because they have
not had the energy to pick them
Because the children are disappointed,
they devise novel myths. Cows wear
black mustard seeds on their backs,
chickens cackle in French, bats swoop
down on the children’s heads, occult
symbols tumble like gingerbread
men, and the children break into a
million pieces, their bodies bread for
birds’ testy beaks.
CRYPTOCOCCUS GATTI, OR THE MONSTER INSIDE ME
A non-contagious fungal infection,
Cryptococcus gattii, lay two cysts
in his lungs and runs track through
Four hours of chemo each day cause
his kidneys to begin to fail, additional
saline solution added to his fluid
bag, a Mother Teresa gesture.
He sometimes sleeps from 6 p.m. to
6 a.m., his dreams battle cries for
action to return to his life.
Since he cleaned a friend’s chicken
coop with bird droppings compressed
into what looked like loaves of bread,
he thinks he contracted the illness
He almost attached his hands to
a lectern at Tulane University,
but this was not to be.
During infusions of chemo., he talks
with what he used to think were
imposters to clear the Medicaid
system. But his mind changed
quicker than the movements of a
Tilt-A-Whirl chair: He talks
with chained prisoners who
are very sick and individuals
with more than one disease.
A boulder build, he is now
very skinny with a chirpy
He is encountering the second
container of his life as he would
like to own a home on some land
and rear native plants, a university
job counterintuitive to an academic
position to entwine retirement benefits.
Claire T. Feild has had 344 poems and 5 creative nonfiction stories accepted for publication in 110 print journals and anthologies such as The Tulane Review; Folio; Wordplay; Spillway; Poeming Pigeons; The Carolina Quarterly; Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley; The Horror Zine Magazine; Folio; The Path: A Literary Magazine; The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal; and Contemporary Poetry (Volume 2). Her first poetry book is Mississippi Delta Women in Prism. Her second creative nonfiction book is titled A Delta Vigil: Yazoo City, Mississippi, the 1950s. Her chapbook, The Mississippi Delta: Nonfiction Stories, is forthcoming. Her book of poetry The Dawn of Dusk and Shadows is forthcoming.