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Strolling with My Grandmother in the Center of a War | Rebecca Evans | 2nd Place Poetry Contest Winner

She warmed chicken soup all day—

            ready for the hungry, the empty


She popped popcorn on movie days for seniors

            saying, I’m more able than them


and sent me care packages of beads and bread

            in time of war, conflict, hate


She drank her Folgers black but kept a cup

            of sugar on the table for those in need of sweetness


and frankly talked about hair loss—near her brows,

            beneath her arms, and yes, her “kittycat” too


Walking on base at blackout, her essence persists—

            her orphaned upbringing, her ways of preservation


She tells me over and over, Blood is thicker, Family

            is all that matters, and, Call your mother.


Rebecca Evans writes the difficult, the heart-full, the guidebooks for survivors. Her poems and essays have appeared in Narratively, The Rumpus, Hypertext Magazine, War, Literature & the Arts, The Limberlost Review, and more. She’s the author of Tangled by Blood and a forthcoming collection, Safe Handling (Moon Tide Press, 2024). She shares space with four Newfoundlands and her sons in a tiny town in Idaho and does her best writing beneath her stairway in a hidden cove.


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