Claire T. Feild has taught English for 40 years in university, community college, high school, and middle school settings. She has had 427 poems and seven nonfiction stories published in 135 print journals and anthologies such as: The Carolina Quarterly; The Horror Zine; The Tulane Review; Literature Today; Alabama Views and Words; and Folio.

Her books are Mississippi Delta Women in Prism; Southern Aunts: The Mississippi Delta; A Delta Vigil, which is about her growing up white and female in the Mississippi Delta;and Mississippi Delta Memories.

Claire’s femur broke in her left leg, and the surgeons decided to put a rod in that leg and also in her right leg. She is learning how to walk again with a regular walker and a petite upright walker.    


The guard began his duties when he
was a child, all the kings and
queens in love with his tousled
blonde hair.

As he aged, boredom set in like a cyst,
and he decided to run away.

The forest where he hid was scary at
first, his feet sticking to the tar-like
dirt, but the animals he met
were too benign to draw wounds
on his body.

To eat, he would sneak into the kitchen
of his childhood, filling his stomach
with meat, vegetables, and desserts
he carried in his pockets back
to his home in the woods.

When he choked on a nut next to a tree,
he looked for water, but could
find none.

Confused, he could not recall where the
pond hung out—and then he
saw in his mind’s eye—a robin
drinking from the pond.

He ran as if a troupe of witches were
close to him, using his two hands
as cups of water to drown the
nut now fearful of his oceanic


Too dark for security to take root, we
savor the stars, their light the
taste of vanilla yogurt on the
backs of our tongues.

We sleep outside, the sun’s light
scurrying across our eyes
and the rest of our bodies
too soon.

Bolting from our plastic tents, we
scramble eggs on the hot pot,
congratulating each other on
our low-carb breakfasts.

Soon we will fall fast into the deep-
throated forest, the trees’
immense height and fullness
keeping us from feeling secure,
night’s lights hidden from
our view, the cogent sounds
of the forest making us as
restless as a mound of snakes.


Although he lives in exorbitant fear behind
the fence, he survives with a crucial faith
that his troubles will vanish quicker
than they marched on him.

As the nights turn into a ferocious black cold,
he wraps his ragged blanket, the one
his mother crafted for him when he
was a toddler still at five years of age.

When the feral snow surrounds his head
as he takes his daily walks, he cups
its ingredients for something to eat.

A filthy woman wearing oversized jeans
places honey with bread on his
tongue to make sure he will
survive at least one more day
in the whole-souled cold.