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Friday, February 24, 2012


by Ann Neuser Lederer

                                         "I’m defending their Constitution, too." --Jessica Ahlquist

The Evil Little Thing (he named her)
dares to speak and speak the truth.
The Evil Thing has won.
The Evil Little Thing gets death threats.
She's given an escort to school: the police.
She's interviewed on TV.
She's sad, surprised to hear the stream of meanness.
Her message is skywrit huge and bright and white against the blue.
Still, the hate letters come.
We need to make walls of our arms,
old animals circling in against the wolves.
This is just to say: a praise note, a pride note, a non-hate note
To Our Strong One, our young hope.

Ann Neuser Lederer's poems and creative nonfiction appear in journals such as Diagram, XConnect and Brevity, anthologies Bedside Guide and Best of the Net, and in her chapbooks Approaching Freeze, The Undifferentiated, and Weaning the Babies. She was born in the Black Swamp region of Ohio, and is employed as a nurse in Kentucky.