The National Catholic Review

With sleep in her eyes she parts the curtain,
sees the black van and three strange men.


Standing on tiptoe in woolen pajamas
she raps at the window, sees him drive off
with three strange men.

They’ve come to the farm in a dusty van,
found him at work on the fence out back,
sat him between them and drove the lane
scattering stones and dirt.

In blue pajamas with padded feet
she runs to the phone and tells the “O”
Papá’s been taken away in a van
from where she lives with the broken chair
and chicks in the yard and he fell down
running away from three strange men.

All alone in a quiet house she holds
on tight to a blanket end
to keep her safe from the raging wind
and the angry shouts of three strange men.

Michael McMahon is presently teaching at Fresno Pacific University. His poems have appeared in Seneca Review, Notre Dame Review and Poetry East.

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