by Rickey Rivers Jr
Beads of sweat given to every woman with knotted hair, dark children hide in the cool shadows of their mothers.
Walk. Watch them walk across the desert, feet blistering and burning, life forever churning.
The animals stare and laugh but the mothers continue on because the mothers must be strong for themselves, for their children.
The desert beats them. It is only a trial, only a task to be crossed off a list.
They behave as mighty markers.
Soon this desert page will be shaded completely and those who cackle will starve and sizzle.
Memories come to us at quiet times:
contemplation of self,
These are trying times.
At these times the pain flows back vividly.
It transports us, makes us relive
all that we wish to forget.
Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. His work has appeared in Amethyst Review, Bonnie’s Crew, Crepe & Penn (among other publications).
Artist: Frank Jaehne