Bio Note: Because I live in the Mojave Desert, survival is literally a hot topic. Along with the weather, there are endless tragic stories of people who came to a bad end in the middle of nowhere. Those stories, particularly the ones about women, have always grabbed me. This poem is from a series called “No Direction Home: Women Lost in the Mojave.”
He had a way with horses. With me. I couldn’t resist that Marine— all muscle, a genuine stallion. After a tryst, he’d say, That was too good. I won’t let you go home. I’d laugh and dare him, Bring it on. He’d get a divorce, I knew it—I already loved his girl like my own—I’d hug her and say, I won’t let you go. She’d squirm and run. My own husband, stale as day-old bread, turned a blind eye to the flirting, ignored my lies, the pregnancy test kit stuffed in the trash. All signs pointed toward new life. So when my he-man took me for a drive, promising a surprise, I expected at least a ring— not a garotte from behind. It’s a long fall down an old mineshaft, and an even longer haul up when your body’s been shattered. Now I know— the people who tried for months to find me loved me more. They brought me home.
©2020 Cynthia Anderson
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