She is lavender and
daffodils finding strength in their stems
on a day that the wind has heavy breath.
She is an intermediary between generations
weaving songs into patterns of light
and spreading hymns through a stained-glass window.
She is nopales, sweet or sour,
tender, protecting and regulating.
She is cautious eyes and brave voice,
arms stretching and holding,
young girl dancing and woman blooming.
She is a thousand wishes made on stars
that shelter in this soil, plant into the fabric,
blossom in the morning’s pink rising sun.
**The Beaverton School District (Oregon) deputy superintendent resigned this spring after a petition was started calling for his firing. He retweeted a claim that undocumented immigrants “were more dangerous than assault rifles.” Reactions ranged from outcries that he was voicing a concern that many in the community held to disappointment that the district didn’t fire him faster for publicly posting divisive statements that were not in line with the district’s standards and values. While all this was being flung about, I kept thinking about who these students are as they sit in our classrooms.
Karen Shepherd lives with her husband and two teenagers in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys walking in forests and listening to the rain. Her poetry and flash fiction have been published in various journals including riverbabble, CircleShow, The Literary Nest and Halfway Down the Stairs (full publication list on request). She is just learning how to tweet at