by Christine Garren

Brief yet amaranthine,

what’s left is this

wreckage everywhere—torn valves and surgeries

broken bank accounts, whole rooms pressed

into a landfill, the churches where we went, those programs

left. And now, next door, the neighbor’s daughter

has a party every August

as her mother did. This year the strung-up animal is a donkey

being beaten

in the elms.

Christine Garren is the author of the poetry collections Afterworld and Among the Monarchs. Her latest collection is The Piercing, published in 2006 in the Southern Messenger Poets series from Louisiana State University Press. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist and NEA Fellowship recipient, she was born in Philadelphia and has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina, since 1979.