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  • Writer's pictureSharon Frances


I stare at the

coffee stained napkin,

a second hand spoon and a pen

resting on the brown liquid spatters

The news program hums

Shots, cries, fire, lies

The hairs on my arms

Stand at attention

I am always at attention

My stomach aches

With each word of hate

I let my pen trace the spatters

Left from the calm

Before the storm

The thunder strike

The hoods of white

I sit and wait



and wait

I want to make it better

But I stand in my way

My family stands in my way

So many men I have known

Stand in my way

I stare at the napkin

And a woman stares back

Begs me to fill her

With words

To make her become


love music art

peace health justice

I stir my coffee

Gulp feverishly as I write

create laugh eat

play sing touch

I want to fight

for all of us

who have been hurt




by hate

More liquid spatters

I pause, tuck my hair

behind my ears and stare

at the wet



I put hands on my belly

The ache an echo

The fear small again

I made my choice

The napkin now shredded

With a word-loving pen

Delicate, strong, determined

A new kind of attention

Found here

In coffee

These poems are part of the Cultivating Poetry Project, in which I write for those who need poems for many reasons in their lives, including those in parenthood, grief and loss, chronic pain and fatigue, and those in need of a change or healing.

All poems and images are the property of the poet, Sharon Frances.

Do not use in part or whole without permission.

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