The time she bent to eat our dirt
The cane-pole threshed her spine.
Times I was made to bend to eat red mud (our dirt) her cane-pole threshed my spine.
Atsuro Riley is the author of Romey’s Order (University of Chicago Press, 2010), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, The Believer Poetry Award, and the Witter Bynner Award from the Library of Congress. He’s recently received the Whiting Writers’ Award and the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship.