The National Catholic Review

I feared the bugs in Nicaragua
more than invading contras.

Other foes, omnipresent dust and drought,
rendered remarkable the clotheslines,

clean garments flaunted flag-like
before the enemy.

Strong women skilled at washing
grime and blood and tears
would not succumb to dust.

Each washing pledged them to tomorrow
for their children.

Camille D’Arienzo, R.S.M., is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Community of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

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