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Wednesday, October 26, 2005


by Linda A. Cronin

As many as 50 villagers, of Nindja in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, were carried off into the surrounding forest by armed attackers after a brutal assault.

Ever since the soldiers came
and took her daughter,
her hollow eyes stare into the air.
She crouches in the courtyard,
in the blazing sun, trying
to warm the chill from
her bones, and inside her, throbs
a hunger and an ache
that refuses to be silenced.
In a voice, barren of life,
she describes how each night
as the sun slips from the sky
and darkness falls, she heads
for the woods and spends her nights
cradled in the arms of trees,
staring at the stars above
with a single wish in her heart.

Linda A. Cronin, a poet and fiction writer, has recently finished her first collection of poems, Dream Bones. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as The Paterson Literary Review, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Kaleidoscope, Rattle, and LIPS.