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Willful Ignorance

by Marina Evans

I’ve tilled the damp clay of the viper
Bare shoulders mottled
With acacia shade;
Stirred the dry dust of oleander
Brittle branches scraping
Flushed forearms.

Here the birds sing all night long
Atop cool pine peaks
Lulling sleeping daisies.

I looked that viper in the eye;
Oleander’s venomous honey
Dripped upon my broken skin;
But I do not cry
Or coo with the swallows
In the last gasp of darkness.

For the wolves (they say)
Are hungry,
Prowling down the hills.


Marina Evans is a musician, writer, and teacher based in New England and Italy. She has written and independently released four records, toured across the US and in Europe, and supported such greats as LeAnn Rimes, Judy Collins, and Dar Williams. In 2018, she was selected as a writer in residence by the T.S. Eliot Foundation at The Downs, Eliot’s summer home. Her work explores themes of heritage, belonging, distance, and separation. Learn more at marinaevansmusic.com.

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