Stick Woman

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

Her eyes
Ever focused
Upon the path before her,
Her frame bent
As crooked
The wood she has collected,
Twigs to ignite
The darkness ahead,
A fire warming some rice
To sate her growling belly.

She is Zo,
A marginal woman
Of a marginal people
In the highlands of Burma,

But the sun
Still rises here also,
To the cold mornings
Of these Chin hills,
And her eyes
Burn with the flame
Of the flowers on
The Buran tree,
Red with the fury of life,
Eager to wander the forests
Yet another day,
A barking deer
Stepping softly
Through the underbrush,

Gathering sticks
To survive another night.

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