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  • NEVERMORE
  • My steps are heavy this early morning,
  • head throbbing, muscles tight.
  • Above me, dark clouds with slumped shoulders
  • release tears into steel-grey Mission Bay.
  • I pass a few people, heads bowed, sluggish pace,
  • a shrouded, somber atmosphere.
  • The shrill sound of seagulls breaks the stillness
  • echoing the desperate cries of students diving
  • under desks to escape yet another school shooting.
  • This time a Colorado high school a few miles
  • from Columbine, where on that grave day in ‘99
  • thirteen kids were gunned down.
  • Today eight students wounded, one killed.
  • Kendrick, a teen, takes a bullet in the chest
  • while subduing a deranged gunman.
  • The only child of now heartbroken parents is no more.
  • The air grows dense
  • “He should have been protected”
  • I shake my fists
  • “He’s a victim, not a hero”
  • Screaming into the sky
  • “We don’t need another child hero”
  • A fiery-eyed raven with a rifle-stocked tail
  • swoops down and scowls at me
  • NEVERMORE
  • Extra Care at CVS
  • Yesterday I bought a greeting card with cash
  • two ninety-nine plus tax
  • handed clerk three ones and a quarter.
  • She scanned my red extra care card
  • got only three cents change, but
  • received a receipt almost my exact height:
  • five feet four inches long!
  • It offered me eleven coupons which totaled
  • twenty-nine dollars in discounts
  • but limited to one coupon per transaction
  • which all expire in seven days and exclude
  • sale, promotional, clearance items …
  • a warning that returns are with receipt only
  • with encouragement to “share your feedback”
  • by filling out a one-minute survey
  • with a reminder “hablamos español
  • “Did you bring your own bag?” the clerk asked
  • “For my card or for the receipt?” I answer
  • They may label themselves as “extra care” but
  • to me they are extra careless with our environment
  • as I leave tripping over my white, dragging tail
  • with fire flaming from my nostrils.

Nancy Foley

Nancy Foley

Nancy Foley earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Dayton. She and her husband moved from Indianapolis to San Diego in 1982. After raising four children, Nancy enrolled in creative writing classes at SDSU. She has been a member of the San Diego Community College Writer’s Workshop since 2007. Her poetry appears in the 2019 San Diego Poetry Annual, 2018 Escondido Municipal Gallery Poetry/Art Summation, and in four anthologies: For the Love of Writing, A Volume of Voices, Fruit & Fig Leaves, and The Stories Start Here, as well as the self-published collection In Her Own Words. She was the featured poet in both the 10/06/16 and the 5/10/18 issues of the San Diego Reader’s Rhyme & Verse section. On 2/5/17 Nancy was the guest poet at the monthly gathering of Poets Inland North City, SD. Her nine grandchildren provide ample material for her essays and poems.

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