The Un-Needing by Anna M. Evans

A murder of crows cawed for justice
from the crest of an oak tree
as I began the un-needing.
I un-needed my mother—that was easy—
then my father, because I had become him.
I un-needed both my daughters,
who had already un-needed me.
I un-needed my husband—
there I’d had practice.
I un-needed a plethora of friends
who never called me
and a suit of men who had sworn
they would always need me back.
I un-needed semesters of students
whose need had been light and temporary.
Feeling unburdened, I un-needed my dog
who whined in bewilderment.
The crows squawked their applause
as finally I un-needed poetry.
But that was the lie I couldn’t make stick.
Anna M. Evans’ poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, American Arts Quarterly, and 32 Poems. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and is the Editor of the Raintown Review. Recipient of Fellowships from the MacDowell Artists’ Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and winner of the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award, she currently teaches at West Windsor Art Center and Richard Stockton College of NJ. Her new sonnet collection, Sisters & Courtesans, is available from White Violet Press. Visit her online at