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  You could have a big dipper   

Catarina by Andrea Janelle Dickens

She was the one first to pay, blonde

head sloped downward. I got so used

to looking at her part, down the center,

too pink in summer. Her life was

chaos, the stamps of poverty and abuse

well hidden under hand-me-down cardigans.

Until, when she began to break,

it happened almost all at once:

a broken wrist one week, blackened eye

the next. Then the stomach swelling so

obvious – she swore she didn’t know the father.

Her parents kicked her out, she slept

rough one night under the old train bridge,

then disappeared, her prayers answered.


Andrea Janelle Dickens lives the Sonoran Desert, where she resides among the sunshine and saguaro cacti. Her work has appeared in Star 82, cakestreet, Ruminate, Caesura and The Wayfarer, among others. When not writing poems, she's making pottery in her ceramics studio or tending hives of bees.

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