In the barn, he tells me, his voice shaking with haste. There’s an old cellar and a pile of straw. It’s the best they can do. I don’t question it. The barn door is heavy, almost too heavy for me, especially with a baby strapped to my chest. But I get it open, then closed … Continue reading Hiding


Please. Please, you say, your hands folded in prayer. A daughter, a child, with knots in your hair. Whatever I’ll give, whatever I have, It’s never enough. Never enough.   I’m rich, you said, Or rich to you, I eat at night and sleep in a bed, There are coins in my purse, I’m always … Continue reading Beggar


They come with the food at dawn’s first breath, when the light is still weak and they don’t have to see our faces or the disease clinging to our hands, our throats. Their carts are full of food for us, vegetables and grain given by charitable men and rich women in the cities for the … Continue reading Lepers


We take them out of the cages after the moon rises, when the silver light falls on the waves. Faeries. They flutter out of the boat, skimming the water, touching it with their tiny hands and laughing in voices that sound like the whisper of wind through willow leaves. They love the sea. The waves. … Continue reading Fishermen

Pirate Flag

They dropped anchor when they saw us coming. Red sails against a blue sky, a flag as black as the ink from a rich man’s pen. No merchant vessel is stupid enough to flee the Caimen. Fast as the winds that cut through the waves in these parts, she has a speed even warship or … Continue reading Pirate Flag


Monday. August 21st. 2017. They talked about it for months before it happened, the first full eclipse in 38 years. A milestone. A once in a lifetime chance, for some, to see the moon hid the sun’s face. People packed picnics, drove for hours, were stuck in traffic. All waiting to see it. All wanting … Continue reading Eclipse


She’s back when I wake up. She’s been gone for three days this time, longer than ever before. I was so worried she wouldn’t come back this time, so worried that the Faerie that slips into her window at night and steals her away would forget to bring her back again. She tells me stories … Continue reading Faerie


They leave their muddy handprints on my wall, on my white, freshly painted wall. I’m sorry, Amma, they tell me, we’ll clean it for you. I laugh and tell them not to bother. We’ll frame them, I say. Frame them for the days when you’re gone and I’m left here alone. They laugh at that. … Continue reading Handprints

Dung Beetles

The dung beetles come out after dark, after the stars are out and the moon has fled behind the dunes. They trundle along, pushing their noxious burdens, leaving their tiny trails in the dust behind. I watch them, sifting sand through my fingers, and wish my own path were as easy to follow. They always … Continue reading Dung Beetles

Children of Cambodia

Now a boy, a man too soon, You barely had the chance. A child grown, a boyhood lost, Games soon left behind. They’ll never know, they’ve never asked, How far your light might shine. A helping hand, a winning smile, You’ve given both to me. Now a boy, a man too soon, Your future isn’t … Continue reading Children of Cambodia