2 Poems – Barbara Black

Faith in a Nordic Country, 1935

In church the Virgin sweats
some portent
that never arrives

The plate is passed
she drops her coin
like a letter hesitantly mailed

Once her ancestors ate
brittle pages
from their hymnals
to survive

She thinks she’d like
to be reborn as a swan

even if the pond
were iced over.


The Killing Fields, Cambodia

I stand on bones
of poets. Gone the
bleeding drops of red.
“Somemoney!” child beggars screech
behind the metal fence.
Ghosts, don’t listen. Your
fearful trip is done.

Barbara Black was a 2015 Canadian Authors Association Vancouver Short Story Contest finalist, and semi-finalist for a 2014 Disquiet International Literature scholarship. Her poetry has appeared in Contemporary Verse 2, FreeFall, and Poems from Planet Earth. Other publications include non-fiction in Island Writer, and fiction in The New Quarterly and Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal. She lives in Victoria, BC.

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