The Martyr


She drapes her dirty child
in a green, threadbare scarf,
slings it across her back
and drops down to dig
roots. She tosses aside
a fossil of a fish, rocks
of ancient snails that
may as well be shit from
the ass carrying sacks of potatoes
caked with dry, brown earth.
The child sleeps
pressed against her ribs.
Her skin is the desert,
she lips a silent blessing.
Her arms have been full
for years. She knows better
than kill the last goat. She
milks it until sore teats drag
in the sandy garden, a drunk
line leading to a shady spot.

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