June 22, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Karla Cote photo



Ann E. Wallace




The Price of a Wall


A Golden Shovel after Robert Frost



In the news, we learn of something

dark, and, oh, it is shameful. We see there

are children huddled in silver sheets, there is

no sun willing to shine within the cages that


we made of wire for babes, where home doesn’t

exist, and two-year olds learn to forget love,

along with their names. Wardens wipe not a

tear, and cries of mama are absorbed by the wall


of resolve like gold coins thrown to an ocean that

swallows gifts, churns them out, and wants

more. These cages are made for our children, it

is shameful, and yet we have not torn them down.






Cradle Will Rock


A Golden Shovel after the Nursery Song



I sit and watch, awed by the unwavering rock

steadiness of those tethered tight and tighter to a

mandate of tough law, willing to bid good bye

to compassion, to humanity for frightened baby,


toddler, child sleeping alone under thin silver in

a warehouse retrofitted for violations unseen, the

perimeter held tight while we scale fence and treetop

for a glimpse inside, crying out in horror when

the doors crack open, see children huddled in the

cold of cages slammed shut by the violent wind

of a nation’s change that shakes the trees and blows


loose those tender fruits hanging low to the

ground, wrenching them from the cradle

of a mother’s arms, steamrolling the maternal will

to protect, pulverizing into dust what once was rock.






Ann E. Wallace

Ann E. Wallace has been writing lately about our national identity, teenagers who are making a difference, and human rights issues that have suddenly become everyday concerns. Her work has recently appeared in Tuck Magazine, Juniper, Snapdragon, HerStory, and The Same, as well as in Poets Reading the News. She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is online at AnnWallacePhD.com and on Twitter @annwlace409.

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