She stood outside the liquor store
(it used to be a five-and-dime
but that was in another time)
and as she gazed across the street
the sunlight stabbed her eyes.

The zealots loomed at barricades
(their words the stones they chose to cast;
they cursed the nurses as they passed)
she stroked her stomach tenderly
and wept for that within.

She stood outside the liquor store
(the other stores have moved away
and fate has made her live this way)
she wondered if she’d cross the street
with two weeks to decide.

This poem originally appeared in the 2009 collection Sixty-Six.