Where and When by Mercedes Lawry

In the perilous days on the blackened streets. In the scissored summer, in the sweat-stink, the nervous heat. In the absence of hope, in the dead ends and alleys. In the gather of guns, the split second, body down and blood spoke, all gone, conversation and commerce. In the sunken city, high and low with bullets, boys are dead and girls, and babies are dead, and sad women and hungry men and any of them could be. Any of us and any of them could be dead on a Thursday, in the rain, just before dinner, curled on a broken chair, bending.

Mercedes Lawry’s poems are published in Poetry, Natural Bridge, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner. She has published two chapbooks: There are Crows in My Blood and Happy Darkness. She has received honors from the Seattle Arts Commission, Jack Straw Foundation, Artist Trust, and Richard Hugo House, been a Pushcart nominee twice and held a residency at Hedgebrook. She has also published short fiction as well as stories and poems for children.