Anabell Donovan

Anabell Donovan (Anna Eusthacia) is a psychologist and educator dedicated to the student success of minorities and under-represented individuals. She loves words and would always like to “start where language ends.”

Hidden Sullen

This hill country girl
had sun tea eyes
and smiles, 
bright as miles of wildflowers
on the side of the highway. 

She was soft blue bonnets,
faint verbena violets,
and the red and yellow speckles
of Indian blankets.

She moved to the tempo
of a stroll through rolling hills,
at impromptu meetings in the hallway,
pickup b-ball games,
traffic tickets,
and Sonic drive throughs.

We basked in her
untainted glow,
unique empath
whose core was joy,
and whose speech
was warm with Southern
charm.

She knew
my brokenness
when my mom passed away,
and walked me back
into the flow of every day
after every day
just by being a friend.

"She transitioned,"
they said,
so sterile a word
to carefully
pat a light so bright
snuffed out 
by senseless Covid
and will you
smooth out with 
your lingo the many landscapes
darkened by loss?

There's a flood
of tears, 
carefully boarded up
by denial. 

I am 
the hidden sullen
who weeps within.

Paw Prints

There were random paw prints on cement
leading to the door of the pool hall,
and urine, weed, and stale beer wafted
as we passed by.

We shared a walkman, and Coltrane wails,
smoked weed on street corners
as we walked down to the lake
past the mossy fountains in the park,
he closer to the street,
me grazing his shoulder.

He stalked dice and cards, 
I crouched and leaned into 
our kindred static cling,
girded in random insurgency,
pack of two, ears back, 
a breath from howling
at an ever-present moon. 

We trained his Betta fish 
at the shallow end of his uncle's pool,
waded and held mirrors
and the Betta flared 
with every scale and fin,
gearing for a fight as we cheered
and steered the mirrors.

His spirit, sturdy vines 
to my climbing roses,
yet rippled want clouded 
his eyes in delinquent dyes,
he always wanted and wanted more.

We parted in the relentless 
ways of changing powers,
dictatorship, revolution, dictatorship,
some things remain the same.
 
I wonder if the random paw prints on cement 
are still there and if he'd go for a walk with me.

Irving Reporting this Morning

I awaken to calls 
from a distressed bird
flying round a treetop,
for the sky is distended,
and the worms are hidden
deep in cool mud.

The air is stifled,
like a scolded child,
who shuffles in the courtyard,
delaying going home.

She pokes the ant hill
under the mimosa tree,
kicks the loose boards
on the faded fence
with careless boredom.

I hum to Mac's
Blue World and there's
a lilt to my step,
a flitting of buttergly wings,
a hint of a smile
on my drawn face.

An old man walks through
the courtyard and goes on
about Al Green
and hurricanes to passersby,
but no one listens,
then shuffles off
to get another beer
and update his playlist.

On my walk, I see sewage 
flowing down the street
and it's a good thing
the wind is not blowing
as no one is doing
anything about it.

The city's policy
is to never take calls.

And we spring forward
as if we could change
the face of time
by moving its hands.

Just so a man now long gone
could have an extra hour of sunshine
to go bug hunting in the summer.

"My mind, it goes, it goes
It goes, it goes, it goes..."

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