Tag Archives: cruelty

Horses

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Because they can’t feed them,
the poorest people
turn their horses loose
in the desert.

These horses find some
grass and weeds
a couple of months in a year,
but mostly brown stubble,
and water that is impossible
to find.

Finally they round some of them up,
with sand in their bellies,
and ship them to slaughter houses
in Mexico
where men with knives kill them
by stabbing them up to twenty times
before they are brought down,

before they see
grass as tall as their shoulders
near a watering stream.

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Language of the Women

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The women of the village
started to weave
a new language
into their fabric—
shapes and forms
into their dress,
so they could communicate
with each other.

The men of the village
had treated them cruelly,
along with the children
and the animals
(whose spirits are interwoven).
Girls that tried to escape
had their ears and noses
cut off or worse.

Now, when the women
are in the market,
watched and separated,
they are able to send
messages to each other.

They are getting stronger
every day—

Mighty like the great river
that one day will flow out of that country.

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