By Sylvia Beaupre

Confined so they can’t move, the pigs
thrash and squeal until at last
they give up, go still and silent;
chickens, too, packed by multiples
compacted, caged in the wire bellies
of semis, comatose in heat and wind;
and what about those tiny calves,
the living hell of imprisoned limbs,
their deformed bodies soon rendered
for human consumption, a specialty: veal.

A girl I read about, rescued from an
orphanage in China, malnourished,
sores all over her infant body, one
of many from a large room of caged
silence, babies who knew that crying
brought no one to their crib; she
continually waved her tiny hands
in front of her face, proof to herself,
her new parents thought, that she
did indeed exist.

And what about other cages — prison?
poverty? hunger? And minds trapped
by bias, rage, resentment? And despair,
what about a kind of despair that descends
on a dark midwinter night, the cage so thick
and fruitless it compelled me to wake,
turn on a light, and write this poem.

Dark Matter
By Sylvia Beaupre

Lockerbie, Scotland: the bodies farthest from the crash site,
children – their limbs light, taken by the wind.

Susan Smith’s drowned boys: when the car surfaced
one small hand pressed against the glass.

World Trade Center: people held hands, took to the air.

Paris, inside a concert hall, outside a café: people slumped
from chair to floor, shot one by one by one.

Null point: between Earth and the moon,
a point at which an object is in complete stasis,

no gravitational pull
to bind it to either celestial body.

Iraqi Freedom
(found poem from an NPR interview with an Iraqi, 2007)
By Sylvia Beaupre

I am frightened all the time
They leave threatening flyers
          at our doors
We do not know who they are
They stop cars and drag the people
into the street
They wear masks
We do not know who they are

I am just a woman
My nerves are weak
The children are scared
They leap at any noise
One has lost his mind
He never stops trembling
He startles at the sound
          of a spoon
against the edge of a plate

Sylvia Beaupre is a New Hampshire native whose poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including the November 3rd Club, Ad Hoc Monadnock, Spillway, Chautauqua, Common Ground, The Comstock Review and Boomer Lit. She is the author of Tavern Village Tales, an anecdotal history of a New England Village (more online at Weare Historical Society-Tavern Village Tales), and fiction appearing in Entelechy International, Love Free or Die and Around Concord Magazine.